Legislators have blasted the government for seeking to fast-track the relocation of 44 families from Chiadzwa and Mukwada areas, after they were last week given a 10-day notice by the government to vacate the vicinity and pave way for diamond mining operations.
The eviction notice was issued by the Mutare District Administrator, William Mashava.
But the villagers are protesting against the government directive arguing they should not be moved from their ancestral homes.
On Sunday they resolved to defy the directive until they were given full compensation and a disturbance allowance for the relocation.
“We met on Sunday and we agreed that come rain, come sunshine we will not move until our demands have been adequately met,” said a villager who declined to be named.
The villagers are being forced to move to Arda Transaal Farm.
Chiredzi West MP, Moses Mare, a member of the portfolio committee on Mines and Energy and Mutare West MP, Shuah Mudiwa, said this week the move, was inhumane.
The MPs said there was no reason to rush the process without first putting in place appropriate infrastructure for the resettlement.
“The decision to expedite the relocation is abnormal because they are not yet through with the construction of houses and other basic facilities for these people, “Mare said.
“We condemn the move in the strongest terms and wonder why they are fast-tracking the exercise without first taking into consideration the humanitarian needs of the affected people.”
Mare said relocation of affected communities must have been done when everything had been put in place because the 44 families affected could not just be dumped at farmhouses.
“We expected the government to allow non-governmental organisations to deal with humanitarian issues where they will first move in and see if Arda Transaal is suitable for human habitation before making such decisions which have to do with human beings,” he said.
Mare said the affected families should be given financial assistance because they own the diamond fields and that legislation should be amended to take care of the issue of compensation.
“Our mining legislation is such that if I find a diamond in your eye I can be allowed to remove your eye to extract that diamond, without compensating you for that eye, and we need to correct that,” the MP said.
Mudiwa, the MP for the affected areas said the appropriate procedure was that government, the mining companies and the affected communities should have signed an agreement before the relocation exercise was done.
The chairman of the CCDT, Malvern Mudiwa said he was in the process of engaging the Mutare district authorities to discuss concerns of the affected communities.
Mudiwa said the community should be issued with mining claims so they form partnerships with investors and benefit from their natural resources.