The Zimbabwe Independent reported that Chinese companies are defying a ban introduced last year to cease mining activities in the Mavuradonha Wilderness in Muzarabani region of Zimbabwe. There are indications that despite a government order to cease all mining activities in the area pending consultations, Chinese miners have continued with operations at the expense of the sanctuary and livelihoods of the local community. The Mavuradonha Wilderness and Mountains form the eastern part of the Zambezi Escarpment, rising over 1 000 meters above sea level and peaking at Banirembizi.The Government Gazette, which set aside Mavuradonha Wilderness as a conservation area, was issued in September 1988 by then Local Government, Rural and Urban Development minister, the late Mr Enos Chikowore. The area, measuring 66 000 hectares, was declared a national monument in 2017, but alluvial chrome mining has become a threat to the sacred area.The Mavuradonha area is one of the richest in terms of mineral resources since it is where the Great Dyke geographically starts. Minerals found there according to the latest data from the Ministry of Mines Geological Survey department amongst others include, gold, platinum, nickel, uranium, gas and chrome. History has it that the area housed the grave of Nyatsimba Mutota, the Mutota Empire making the area sacred hence Seremwe says the locals are scared their mining and intentions will destroy their heritage.The terrain is extremely wild and rugged, with heavily-wooded granite outcrops contrasting with the bare, grass-covered slopes of the highly mineralized Great Dyke range. Numerous streams and rivers rise in the mountains, flowing north to the Zambezi, sometimes cutting steep waterfalls in the rock as they make their way off the escarpment. The ground is steep and rocky interspersed with winding elephant trails. In the east, the Musengezi River has cut a steep gorge through the mountains creating attractive scenery and magnificent hiking country.Numerous cultural and historical sites are located in or near the area, including San rock art and the ruins of Mutota’s Kraal. A museum of cultural history is being planned for the area, in order to underline and record the significance of the Mavuradonha.