MBADA Diamonds has come to the rescue of about 8 000 starving families in Chiadzwa and Mukwada areas by providing them with over 800 tonnes of maize.
More maize will be distributed to relocated villagers in Arda Transau.
Minister of State for Manicaland province Chris Mushohwe challenged other diamond mining companies operating in Marange to plough back to the starving communities.
“I approached Mbada Diamonds through its chairman Dr [Robert] Mhlanga telling them that people are facing starvation and they responded in the positive,” Mushohwe said.
“However, Mbada Diamonds is not the only company operating in this area.
“We are going to ask the rest of the companies who are not helping people here.
“How do they want the people to survive when they turned their fields into mining fields?”
Mushohwe said government expected the diamond mining companies to construct tarred roads in the area as people were inhaling a lot of dust.
“By the time the diamonds will be exhausted, we want this area to have been turned into a town. That is how Johannesburg was built and even Zvishavane here in Zimbabwe,” he said.
“If we don’t say anything about these issues, our children will not forgive us because we will be having nothing to show to them for the diamonds mined here.”
Mushohwe commended Mbada Diamonds for practising social corporate responsibility on other issues such as infrastructural development and the company’s initiatives on improving the villagers’ livelihoods, challenging other companies to do the same.
The diamond mining companies have come under fire from different sectors for failing to uplift the mining area from where they operate from.
Mushohwe also announced that he would be lobbying the companies to pay the money they owe to the Zimunya Marange Community Share Ownership Trust.
Mbada Diamonds promised the villagers that they will continue supporting them on several projects and even on food distribution.
“As Mbada Diamonds, we have come here with this donation because we are together,” George Manyaya, a Mbada Diamonds official said. “We know there are a lot of challenges in this area and we will try our best to help you. We are here to harness the diamonds for the people.”
The company was currently constructing a water pipe line for the villagers. Both headman Chiadzwa and Mukwada thanked the company for its efforts to uplift the community, urging others to come aboard.