5 March 2018

Zimbabwe: Villagers Say Govt Diamond Firm Worse, Destroying Dip-Tanks and Wells

The Marange Development Trust (MDT) has described the Zimbabwe Consolidated Mining Company (ZCDC) as worse than the private companies it replaced.

The Trust, formed in 2014 to represent the interests of the Marange community, told the Mines and Energy committee this Monday that they were disappointed by the inhuman treatment on community members by ZCDC since it took over operations in Chiadzwa.

"We were happy when we heard government was taking over believing all our problems would be addressed. They ZCDC just came and started working. We woke up to the sound of machinery about 50 metres from our homes," said Beular Mawoyo, a ZDT committee member.

Mawoyo, who is also daughter to headman Chiadzwa, added, "The dust is too much as you can hear the hoarseness of my voice. Our solar panels were no longer working because of too much dust and we are always coughing.

"Next we are told 26 families have to be relocated in two days' time. Then later added a day after we complained the time was limited. When we requested that they be allowed to visit the proposed new place to assess, they told us we would still move whether we like it or not."

According to Mawoyo, the community dip-tank and wells were destroyed and have not been replaced--leaving about 400 households in Tinoengana community, which still await the phase two relocation, in quandary.

"Although we will be relocated, we haven't. We deserve a dignified existence until we are relocated. They now give us two bowsers of 1 500 litres capacity each for all those families. We can no longer move freely.

"The guards are beating people until they die, some have to be treated for grave wounds but we are saying can't they just apprehend and hand over to police for the law to take its course. If also they can give food aid to those they dispossessed of their farm land."

Chairperson of ZDT Malvern Mudiwa appealed to parliament to help advocate for the review of the motor vehicle permit required under the new Marange system.

"The permit is accessible 120 km away in Mutare and is renewed every month. What is so special about this permit? Why can't it be issued by local police and be valid until we are moved?"


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