Petition to stop ZCDC from mining in Chiadzwa


THE Centre for Natural Resource and Governance (CNRG) and Marange community members will this Saturday launch a petition to force the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company (ZCDC) to stop mining activities in the area until there are guarantees that villagers will benefit from proceeds of the gems.


The launch is set to coincide with commemorations of Operation Hakudzokwi to be held on the same day in honour of the hundreds of Marange diamond panners killed in a 2008 violent crackdown jointly launched by State security forces to force them off the diamond fields.

Marange villagers, most of whom have been relocated to Arda Transau, claimed that they were yet to benefit from the pooled resource fund set up under the Zimunya-Marange Community Share Ownership Trust Scheme.

In an interview yesterday, CNRG director Farai Maguwu said it was high time Marange communities benefited from their natural resources.

“We have been making a lot of noise to the government to ensure that the people in Marange benefit from their resources, unfortunately the discovery of these diamonds has brought more harm than good,” he said.

“Now it is time for action and as an organisation we have joined hands with the people of Marange to sign this petition that will be handed over to President Robert Mugabe, who is the Head of State, expressing our concerns over the non development of Marange,” added Maguwu.

“There is nothing we can point that came as a result of diamonds in Marange and Manicaland as a province. Currently ZCDC is employing people from outside Marange and Manicaland. There is not even one traffic light for Mutare that was constructed from the diamond proceeds. In fact, there are a lot of unemployed youths in Marange but they are being denied employment and they are labelled as thieves, we cannot let that continue,” he added.

A traditional leader said he had mobilised the people to sign the petition.

“We are not happy at all with what is happening in Chiadzwa. Since the discovery of the diamonds, we are still living in abject poverty. We talk of indigenisation and empowerment, but we have not yet indigenised because only a few are benefiting from the diamonds,” he said.

“I can feel it that my people here are getting impatient. The people have been so patient and please don’t take that patience for granted. We cannot continue watching things going on like this. Let those behind the looting of my diamonds and not developing my area be warned. I want my area to be developed,” added the traditional leader.