The amount of money offered as compensation to families to be relocated in Chiadzwa is so meagre it is in violation of human rights, the Kimberley Process (KP) focal point person, Shamiso Mtisi, has said.
Mtisi, who was recently nominated the KP focal point person in Israel to work with KP monitor Abbey Chikane, told NewsDay recently that the $1 000 compensation offered to each of the more than 50 Chiadzwa families relocated was not enough.
“It is not enough to give the affected families such paltry amounts because these companies made a commitment that they would actually provide compensation for relocating them,” said Mtisi. “An amount of $1 000 is not adequate and the social services that they have provided for the affected families are not even adequate.”
Mtisi said it was imperative that the affected families benefit from their natural resources in the form of employment or even be included in small-scale mining projects.
“One of the KP workplans is that these families should be considered in small-scale mining projects. These people are being moved into three-roomed houses at a farming compound and since we are in the rainy season, it is wrong time to relocate people because they need to be ploughing,” said Mtisi.
Shuah Mudiwa, MP for the area, said he received reports that some headmen in the area could be compromised.
“Yes, we know there are some headmen who have been given twin-cab vehicles, but there obviously are others that cannot be blindfolded.
We have tried to tell people that this is our national heritage and that we should not be blindfolded,” Mudiwa said.
Mudiwa said the Chiadzwa people would not resist relocation to make way for mining diamonds, but what they simply wanted was transparency in the manner in which these relocations were done and fair compensation since the foreign companies on site were making a “killing” from the precious gems.
He said new diamond mining companies were beginning to resurface in Chiadzwa and that more households would be affected as they will be relocated.
“There seem to be new discoveries in Chiadzwa because they are beginning to fence the whole area around Chiadzwa Primary School and Chiadzwa Dam. What it means is that the families living in those areas are going to be affected and will need to be relocated to make way for that new mining company that is currently fencing the area and putting up fireguards,” Mudiwa said.
Mining companies currently in Chiadzwa include among others, Mbada Diamonds, Canadile Miners, Sino Zimbabwe, Anjin and an unnamed company that is targeting to set up its mine in the Dozva area of Chiadzwa.