CENTRE for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) director Farai Maguwu has called for the urgent repeal of the Communal Lands Act (1981) that has been used to evict people without compensation where mining activities take place like what happened in Chiadzwa in 2009.
By PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
Maguwu’s call comes as there is growing fear that villagers from Chakohwa, Chaseyama, Hot Springs, Chitimani, Wengezi and parts of Mutambara in Manicaland risk eviction as the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company explores for diamonds.
CNRG fears are further buttressed by the treatment of families from Chiadzwa who were evicted to pave way for diamond mining in 2009 and are yet to receive compensation except the few hundred who were relocated to Arda Transau.
“Prepare for the worst-case scenario as they will not compensate anyone because the argument is all communal land is vested in the President who shall permit it to be occupied. We certainly need to repeal the Communal Lands Act (1981), it is so diabolic that it makes all people on communal lands squatters on the President’s land,” Maguwu said.
“Communal land shall be vested in the President, who shall permit it to be occupied and used in accordance with this Act.”
Maguwu added that his organisation is ready to help fight for justice for the poor.
“This sad reality only comes to the surface when minerals are discovered. But we are in this together and we shall fight till our last breath,” he added.
Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister, Mandi Chimene has so far addressed villagers in Tsvingwe, Penhalonga, just outside Mutare about the proposed activities, but reassured the villagers that they are not going to be moved soon.
Maguwu who has in the past dealt with the Kimberly Process has said he has information that shows that Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company will move into the said new areas to explore for diamonds.
“I had a discussion with an official from the KP working group of diamond experts in 2012 who also posited that the actual kimberlitic pipe from where Chiadzwa diamonds originated from should not be far away from Chiadzwa. It has to be either to the north or east of Chiadzwa,” Maguwu said.