Demining programme gathers pace
Harare(New Ziana) – An area covering over 900 000 square metres in Zimbabwe was cleared of landmines in the period August 2018 to June 2019, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Tuesday.
The landmines were planted by the Rhodesian army during the war of liberation mainly along the country’s northern and eastern borders to stop the movement of freedom fighters into and out of Zimbabwe from Mozambique and Zambia respectively.
Efforts to clear the landmines by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) have been ongoing since independence with the help of several international partners.
President Mnangagwa applauded the ZDF for spearheading the demining programme and also applauded international de-mining institutions including the Norwegian people’s aid and the Mines Advisory Group for their support.
“The ZDF remains seized with efforts at demining the large tracts of Zimbabwean land that became inaccessible after the racist colonial regime planted anti-personnel mines in a bid to stall the execution of the liberation war during the 1970’s,” he said during ZDF commemorations.
“A cumulative area of over 900 000 square metres was cleared during the period August 2018 to June 2019, which saw anti-personnel mines being immobilised in the process. This programme will be accelerated as resources become available.”
He said government would continue availing financial support towards the demining programme.
“This is a programme which indeed deserves assistance as its outcomes result in improved safety, in addition more land will be made available for agricultural purposes.”