Chiadzwa villagers, Jinan at loggerheads over graves

AT least 63 Chiadzwa villagers have roped in the Mines and Mining Development ministry to order Chinese diamond mining company, Jinan, to pay compensation for the remains of their relatives which were exhumed early this year from the mining site.

BY KENNETH NYANGANI

The villagers are accusing Jinan management of reneging on its earlier promise to pay them about $700 for each affected grave. They claimed the Chinese firm later changed goalposts and offered $300, but only paid out $100 before government ordered all diamond mining companies to cease operations.

The villagers have formed a pressure group, Upfumi Hwepasi Kuvatema, to fight their case.

“We have engaged the Mines ministry over the compensation of the villagers. Villagers are no longer comfortable especially after the closure of the companies. I first had a meeting with the personal assistant to Mines minister Walter Chidakwa,’’ Upfumi Hwepasi Kuvatema president Matthew Mundondo said.

‘’The personal assistant (Patridge Sibanda) made it possible for me and the permanent secretary in the ministry (Francis Gudyanga) to meet last Friday together with officials from Jinan. (Gudyanga) told us that they were only regulators in the matter and we are going to meet tomorrow (today) with officials from the ministry and Jinan.’

The villagers have threatened to demonstrate against Jinan management if their grievances remain unresolved.

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