HomeLocal NewsVicious dogs scuttle MPs hearing

Vicious dogs scuttle MPs hearing


The move by MPs to conduct a hearing with villagers affected by Chiadzwa diamond field mining operations and their relocation was scuttled after mining security personnel reportedly unleashed vicious dogs.

This was meant to scare the villagers so that they could not meet with the touring MPs over other issues relating to diamond mining operations in the diamond-rich area.

Mutare West MDC-T MP Shuah Mudiwa and Chiredzi West MDC-T MP Moses Mare, who were also part of the MPs delegation, said the vicious dogs were seen moving around the villages and villagers were scared to “even come out of their houses”.

But Uzumba Zanu PF MP Simbaneuta Mudarikwa said there was “nothing sinister” about the dogs as they were part of the security system.

Mare and Mudiwa told NewsDay part of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy’s agenda during the visit to Chiadzwa last week was to hold a public hearing with communities affected by mining operations.

This, however, did not happen raising suspicion there was a deliberate attempt by mining firms to deter people from speaking to the MPs.

The committee chaired by Guruve South MP, Edward Chindori Chininga was on a tour of Chiadzwa to investigate firms extracting diamonds from Marange and to find out about corporate social responsibility programmes and the relocation of the villagers.

“It was very disappointing that despite the fact (that) we were scheduled to meet the Chiadzwa public, we heard it had not been approved and as a committee, we felt maybe they were hiding something from us,” Mudiwa said.

“There were a lot of fierce dogs roaming around the area and people were scared to even come out of their houses.”

Mare concurred saying security was so “tight everyone was astounded”.

“It is very true that people were deterred from attending the public hearing. As a committee we went to the place where we were supposed to gather for the public hearing in Chiadzwa, but no one turned up. They (security) set loose dogs that were milling around the area and we were told people were advised not to come out,” Mare said.

He said at Arda Transau where about 600 households were relocated it was so surprising that as the MPs toured the area not even a single person could be seen walking outside because of the unleashed dogs.

“We did not see anyone outside the houses or moving around the area and we thought maybe there could be something sinister about the whole process of the tour by legislators. Security was so tight. We were given a convoy of cars about two to three kilometres long to accompany us,” Mare added.

According to parliamentary rules, it is contempt of Parliament to deny committee meetings with people or access records they might desire to have.

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