Chief Zimunya tears into Mushohwe

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Mutare — Chief Zimunya yesterday accused former Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Chris Mushohwe of bungling in the relocation of thousands of villagers from the Marange diamond fields.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

Mushohwe is now the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment minister.

Thousands of people were relocated to Arda Transau from Chiadzwa to pave way for formal diamond mining a few years ago, but the majority of promises made to them have never been fulfilled.
Several people from Arda Transau yesterday complained bitterly during an alternative mining indaba organised by Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela) and its partners over the manner they were being treated in that area claiming the displacement had impoverished them.

They complained about poor educational facilities and non-fulfilment of compensation promises made before they were relocated.

In an interview with NewsDay on the sidelines of the mining indaba, Chief Zimunya singled out Mushohwe for blame.
“If you look at the Arda Transau relocation, all I can say is that it was done ruthlessly. Minister Mushohwe didn’t do things right,” the chief said.

“He even failed to consult us. The minister is Zimbabwean like all of us, but he just chose to ignore even our culture and tradition.
There are a lot of bad things happening to people relocated there which need to be fixed by the traditional leadership, but I cannot go there because I was not consulted during the relocation.”

Chief Zimunya also accused Mushohwe of creating animosity among traditional leaders in both Marange and Zimunya areas.

He accused Mushohwe of recommending the selective treatment of chiefs whereby some have had their houses renovated, received cars and income-generating projects while others got nothing.

Mushohwe was also accused of dipping his hands into funds under the Zimunya-Marange Community Share Ownership Trust, an accusation he flatly denied.

Mushohwe could not be reached for comment yesterday.