MDC-T MP for Mutare West Shuah Mudiwa has expressed disappointment over the continued marginalisation of the Chiadzwa community.
In an interview with NewsDay, Mudiwa said seven years after the discovery of the precious gems, roads, schools, clinics and people’s livelihoods in the community have remained in a sorry state, yet the diamonds were being mined for self- enrichment.
“We are very disappointed over the diamond matter. Seven years after the discovery of the diamonds in Chiadzwa, no meaningful infrastructural development has taken place.
Villagers still walk for long distances to seek medication and the road network is still bad.
“Most of the employees at the mining companies are from other areas and locals often bear the brunt of harassment at the hands of security agents who have become partners in looting while making this place unlivable,” Mudiwa said, whose constituency covers the rich Marange diamond fields.
His plea came hot on the heels of remarks by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in Mutare last weekend that people in Chiadzwa and Manicaland should realise meaningful development from the diamond proceeds.
The Chiadzwa Community Development Trust (CCDT) has also called for transparency and accountability in the manner the diamond project is being handled.
“As an organisation, we are lobbying for transparency and accountability when it comes to diamonds. How is it possible that only a few employees at mining firms in Chiadzwa are from Chiadzwa and the majority from other areas?
“Mining companies here have no corporate social responsibility portfolios to help the Chiadzwa community. We hold those mining companies as trustees for our minerals, therefore we need to know what is actually happening there,” said CCDT field officer Melanie Chiponda.
Villagers complained of corruption at the mining companies, saying they were charged at least a beast to get a job by unscrupulous senior employees.