Hwange area stakeholders have called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa to reverse the special grants offered to a Chinese mining company to mine coal inside Hwange National Park.
In a statement earlier today, Hwange Area Stakeholders warned that mining activities will negatively affect the tourism sector.
“We humbly request that you cancel all Special Grants that are within Hwange National Park and all of the National Parks of Zimbabwe,” reads part of the statement.
It adds, “Travel agents and tourists will cancel their travel itineraries and tours scheduled to arrive in Hwange National Park and will seek alternative destinations in other countries.”
The area stakeholders further warned that the allocated concessions may invite millions worth of lawsuits.
“Special Mining Grants were issued for concessions in areas that already had been allocated to other safari operators who have invested millions of dollars in tourism infrastructure. Lawsuits will ensue, seeking compensation for losses due to mining operations.
“Every safari camp, tour operator and activity provider will likely lose their business as a direct result of mining in Hwange National Park,” further states the statement.
Meanwhile, commenting on his personal Twitter account under the handle @Jamwanda2, George Charamba, who is also the president’s spokesperson, declared that wildlife cannot be prioritised ahead of mineral extraction.