Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Miner offers compensation for 14 poisoned cattle

Miner offers compensation for 14 poisoned cattle

A GOLD milling firm in Mutasa district, Manicaland province, has offered to compensate a local farmer, whose 14 head of cattle, died late last month after grazing on cyanide-contaminated pastures.

BY KENNETH NYANGANI

John Dendera, the plant manager at Armstrong gold milling plant, confirmed yesterday that his firm had opened negotiations with the farmer, Fungai Munyama, with a view to compensate him for the loss of his livestock.

‘’Yes, 14 cattle died from cyanide that spilled from our gold milling plant. We had enough trenches, but after heavy rains there was spillage into the surrounding environment and our trenches failed to contain the spillage. We are engaging the owner of the cattle and we are working on something, but we cannot conclude as our boss is not in the country,’’ Dendera said.

Munyama also confirmed the development, saying: ‘’We are working on something, but at the moment I can’t disclose what we have agreed on because the owners of the gold processing plant might not be at liberty to disclose this matter to the Press. But we can assure you that we are almost done, I want to restore the status of my farm.’’

Environmental Management Agency provincial manager, Kingstone Chitotombe appealed to miners to secure their plants and avoid spillage of toxic chemicals such as cyanide into the surrounding area.

‘’The matter happened on December 18, in Mutasa district after heavy rains. There was a spillage from cyanide ponds, leading to over-spill into the environment, the cattle drank from the effluent and grazed on the contaminated grass, leading to the death of 14 cattle,’’ he said.

‘’We are appealing to stakeholders who use such substances, to put stringent measures in place to avoid such cases.’’

Chitotombe said the affected area had been de-contaminated before expressing satisfaction that both parties had settled the matter amicably.

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