MANICALAND Provincial Affairs minister Monica Mutsvangwa has warned the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) against neglecting communities they operate from as was the case with its predecessors.
BY CLAYTON MASEKESA
In a speech read on her behalf at the launch of the Diamond Super Cup in Mutare last week, Mutsvangwa rapped the former diamond miners in Marange for failing to plough into the communities they operated from.
“It is very sad to note that in all these years the communities in Marange and Mutare have not benefited from the mining of diamonds and this is not what we all expected,” she said.
“Let me warn the new company (ZCDC) not to repeat the same. Communities must benefit from their diamonds and may I take this opportunity to urge ZCDC to take stock of their predecessors and empower the communities,” Mutsvangwa said.
“The new political dispensation gives us an opportunity to revitalise, rethink and refocus our attention on what we need to do to make Zimbabwe great again,” she said.
The Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) and members from Marange community last year petitioned government to force ZCDC to stop mining activities in the area until the issue has been resolved.
CNRG director Farai Maguwu accused ZCDC and government of being complicit in disregarding the legitimate expectations of the people of Chiadzwa.
“Nothing in the ongoing reforms spells out progress in addressing the needs of the displaced people of Chiadzwa and the general populace,” Maguwu explained.
Over 800 families were relocated to pave way for diamond mining in Chiadzwa. The families were resettled at Arda Transau Farm in Odzi.
Each displaced family was allocated a three-bedroomed house, 11 hectares of arable land and a once-off $1 000 disturbance allowance.
According to government evaluators, each family was supposed to get $40 000 as compensation.
Up to now, the families have not received any compensation.
The Zimunya/Marange Community Share Ownership Trust has been a sham, with nothing of note getting into the hands of the said beneficiaries.
The previous mining companies have been accused of presenting a $1,5 million dummy cheque to former President Robert Mugabe during the launch of the Zimunya/Marange Community Share Ownership Trust in 2012.
Five companies pledged to pay $10 million into the trust’s coffers, but up to date, only two companies, Mbada Diamonds and Marange Resources, remitted $400 000.