The Zcdc learnt it the hard way on the 05th of July 2018 when the Chiadzwa community decided to shift a gear up by embarking once again on a peaceful demonstration. This displeasure emanated from the lackadaisical approach to their socioeconomic challenges.

This comes after the much publicised Diamond security conference held on 01 June 2018 in Mutare. The villagers and other organisations who attended felt short changed as they realised their expectations being short circuited by zcdc thereby erasing any hopes of tackling their issues. As Zidawu, we only realised that the conference was meant to spruce up the diamond company’s image than discussing the problems. Not much that was promised has been honoured by them. This is a clear indication that as long the workers and communities do not own means of production, our future remains doomed. A closer look at the said developments in the area are not sustainable. The schools are not fully eqiped with textbooks and some even fail to pay school fees due to poverty. The company had promised to pay for all school children in Chiadzwa but up until now it remains a Pipedream.

Chiadzwa resembles an area in dire need of a facelift as far as socioeconomic development is concerned. More so it is devoid of freedom of movement and association as the area is deemed a protected area by the Zimbabwean government. Calls have been made by civil society groups to make it accessible but this has fallen to deaf ears of the state machinery.

A sizeable number of demonstrators blocked the road leading to the diamond mining concession but where met with resistance despite the fact that the demonstration had been cleared by Zrp. The state security maintained their grip and bullying tactics. Although Zidawu were part of these demonstrators we felt that more has to be done to squeeze these neo capitalists into submission. Our freedom to express our feelings was simply castrated by the over zealous officers.

We still demand that there be transparency in the recruitment of workers as allegations of nepotism and bribery becomes louder. The issue of gender equality remains a thorny issue as less than 13% of workers are women. The Zcdc company policy towards recruiting locals remains a mystery. Less than 40% of them are from the local community.

Quite unfortunate that the company only took our petition that day but we remain disgusted if ever they are going to act upon it. Meanwhile, the workers and Chiadzwa remains greatest recipients of environment injustices.

Compiled by Billian Matambo Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Workers Union (ZIDAWU) 8th July 2018