5 December 2017

Zimbabwe: Marange Villagers' Turn to President Mnangagwa Over Diamonds Revenue

Photo: The Herald
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Marange Villagers said President Emmerson Mnangagwa has a mammoth task to ensure that sanity prevails in their community following the takeover of operations by the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) last year.

Government, last year, stopped various firms such as Mbada Diamonds, Kusena, Diamond Mining Company (DMC), Anjin Investments from mining accusing them of failing to account for the money realized from the sales.

Through Bocha Diamond Share Community Trust (BDSCT) villagers said they want the government to know that they were deeply concerned that wealth realized from diamond fields did not benefit the local community in any way, particularly in infrastructure development, health and education.

"We are fully aware that diamonds, like any other mineral, are finite and that if we don't benefit from our diamonds now it will never happen in the future," reads part of the petition in possession of this publication.

They also said they were shocked by the level of violence which has occurred in their peaceful community since the discovery of diamonds.

"We are concerned with both the direct and indirect forms of violence against women of Marange by ZCDC personnel. We are also appalled by the senseless killings of citizens and shocking levels of cruelty and indifference to human suffering being exhibited by the security personnel of ZCDC," reads the petition.

The community said violence being perpetrated by ZCDC security constitutes crimes against humanity adding that the level of violence was causing spiritual problems in the community.

"As community we are demanding that the diamond mining be stopped with immediate effect if ZCDC can't reinvest profit in surfacing roads leading to the diamond fields which are now impassable due to heavy trucks using the roads.

"We want new farms to be availed by government for further relocation of displaced persons and an immediate end to bloodshed by ZCDC security. We demand an investigation into human rights violations against artisanal miners by ZCDC security," reads the petition.

Centre for Natural Resources Governance (CNRG) which is working with villagers in Marange said they have collected 2 436 signatures and were now giving chance to villagers at Hot Spring and Gudyanga to sign as well.

"We want to give the new President a few weeks to settle before we hand him over the petition," said CNRG Director Farai Maguwu.

ZCDC Chief Executive Morris Officer Mpofu said ZCDC will respect the cultural, traditional and developmental needs of the people of Chiadzwa and Chimanimani.

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