Community, diamond mine find each other

VILLAGERS in the diamond-rich Marange community have resolved their stalemate with the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) after both parties pledged to collaborate in various community developmental projects using gem proceeds.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

Both ZCDC and Marange Development Trust (MDT) confirmed the development to end the hostilities in a joint statement yesterday.

“The major purpose of this MoU (memorandum of understanding) is to forge closer collaboration and a working relationship that will enhance sustainable community development programmes, governance and promote community driven development,” the statement read.

MDT chairperson Malvern Mudiwa, applauded the move by ZCDC, saying other diamond mining companies, which operated in the area before had failed to appreciate the community’s demands.

“We have been fighting for community development and so that the people in the area benefit from the minerals in their home area, there was also an issue of uncompensated relocation of families and we had to make noise partitioning Parliament and going to court, now we are here on a negotiating table giving dialogue a chance and it is very important,” he said.

The MoU will see ZCDC together with MDT co-operating in terms of identifying the needs of the community and addressing any challenges that might arise as a result of mining activities in the area.

“ZCDC, as a responsible corporate citizen, understands and gives due regard to the need to get a social license from the community in the execution of its mining business. This social licence can only be guaranteed when the developmental needs of the community are satisfied,” the statement read.

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