HARARE, July 11– Zimbabwe requires at least 100 million US dollars to remove all landmines that the colonial era Rhodesian forces planted along the border during the country’s war of liberation from British rule, says Zimbabwe Mine Action Centre Director Mkhululi Ncube.

He told the Senate Thematic Committee on Peace and Security here Thursday that the organization was
appealing for funding for demining activities to rid the country of mines since the government was struggling to raise adequate funds.

“Zimbabwe intends to continue to use the military demining unit, international demining partners and willing donors,” he said. “Demining operations are expensive in nature. They require a lot of funding and the government on its own cannot afford it.”

The government this year allocated 500,000 USD towards demining activities but the centre says the amount falls short of requirements.

Ncube said the Halo Trust and the Norwegian People’s Aid were assisting the army to remove landmines.
“It is estimated that Zimbabwe will take a long time to clear the land under its jurisdiction of landmines but if we get partners like we have now the duration will be shorter,” he said.

Landmines are hindering free movement of people who live along the border with Mozambique. Statistic show that land mines have killed about 1,650 people since 1980 while more than 2,000 have been injured and 800,000 people are also traumatized by landmines.

Since 2012, at least 18 people were killed by landmines or explosives which are remnants of the war while 12 incurred serious injuries. Most of the accidents are attributed to the belief that landmines contain red mercury so people try to open them.