Refias Sithole@ MDT 28 July 2018

On the 30th of June 2018 ,Marange development trust held a community meeting at Mai Mawoyo ‘s homestead to discuss and assess how diamond mining has affected the community of Marange. This meeting came after a series of other meetings held in different wards around Marange .Tinoengana village is one of the most affected by mining operations in Chiadzwa. The newly ZCDC company began to mine right at the backyard of the people’s homes. This was seen by many people as a tactiful method to forcefully evict without compensation. This has also resulted in about 25 families being forced to evict despite the intervention by MDT to stop the eviction through a court order. The situation imposed was too much unbearable for the community to withstand hence they were relocated. Only about 2 families resisted and refused that unlawful eviction .
During the meeting the community expressed their dissatisfaction on how the current company ZCDC are conducting its operations in chiadzwa including those recent evictions and the manner in which they were done.
The people accused the company of alienating them from meaning development in the area as well as not being concerned by their plights. “These people don’t like us, we are hearing that other communities are benefiting from natural resources in their area but we the people of Marange are not benefiting at all, why are we not getting something from our diamonds,what have we done” said an emotionally gittering villager. The community talked a lot of issues which the company is failing to do. The people are crying for jobs for the locals which is not being given by the company as stipulated by the laws that host communities should benefit from their natural resources and should be given first preferences .
Despite the company saying they have spent about $200,000000 in refurbishment of a computer lab at Gandauta sec school, the community reiterated that the school do not have computers for their children to learn.”Diamond have got a lot of money but our children are not learning computers, where is the money going.”said another villager.
The other issue which is hurting most people was that when companies started mining operations they destroyed Chirasika primary and secondary school which was locally accessible by all.” Our children are walking more than 10kms to school by foot but the company is doing nothing about it,they only ferry their working staff while they leave our children on the same road but they destroyed our school” said a community member in Chingome village. This is a clear violation of our children’s rights to education as provided for in our constitution. They are denying our children the right to access educational facilities.

We advocate for responsible Mining in Marange!!!!