Refias Sithole, Marange Development Trust

Mining activities in Chiadzwa has caused more suffering on the people of Marange than the anticipated benefits as villagers are loosing their livestock from slimes dams at ZCDC. The communities has always been accusing the mining companies in Marange of neglecting and marginalizing them from the potential benefits from this rich diamond mineral. The people are crying foul over the lack of community development in terms of social corporate responsibility as well as other developmental programs expected from these companies.The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company currently mining diamond has been labelled as the worst company to operate in Marange vis-a-vis the previous companies which was also chased away for failing to look after the community and the nation at large. The communities lambasted these companies for giving them peanuts instead of providing the real development needed. However in contrast to this, after the expulsion of these previous companies ZCDC took over mining operations and everything collapsed from bad to worst. ZCDC is failing to secure the the properties which was left and the diamond as well. It is failing to fence or border their mining concession thereby allowing free entry by illegal miners and livestock from the nearby villages. Because of drought and the current dry season, livestock are entering into the concession to the SLIME dams for greener pastures and to look for drinking water hence they get trapped and die if not rescued. Some cattle are even drowned and never be found. It’s really worrisome as people are suffering, instead of benefiting from our diamonds we are loosing the little we have as a community. How can the diamond company continue to impoverish our community instead of empowering it. However with this problem at hand we would like to appeal to ZCDC to fence off their mining concession to secure our diamonds as well as protecting our livestock from this death trap as it is also a danger to the people’s lives again.