By Daniel Chigundu
CHIADZWA residents have told Parliament that the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) is worse compared to mine companies that were operating in Chiadzwa.
According to Marange Development Trust (MDT), previous mine companies used to employ local people and even built houses for relocated people and assisted them in other means, adding that ZCDC has been treating them badly and is not entertaining their concerns.
Giving oral evidence to the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy, MDT member Beulah Mawoyo said people are at pains especially because of the discovery of diamonds in Chiadzwa.
“People are really hurt and they asking what these diamonds that are being talked about have done for the local community in Chiadzwa, our headman is aged he doesn’t even have anything out of it even a bicycle he doesn’t have but he is the one with the area where diamonds are being mined, diamonds which are being used in developing other places which are outside Marange.
“So we don’t know how we can be helped out of this situation, I am happy to have been given the opportunity to come here (Parliament) that maybe if we tell you our concerns and living conditions maybe you can do something about it, something that might change the situation in Chiadzwa,” she said.
Speaking on the same occasion, MDT chairperson Malvin Mudiwa warned people against the Marange issue adding that it was a very sensitive issue that needs to be handled carefully.
“We are not here to impress you or make you happy because we don’t even know what makes you happy, we are telling our story and problems associated with diamonds you must understand them because they are not anywhere else in the world they are only meant for the Marange Community, and they are so sensitive to us.
“Chief Marange himself in his own words is crying foul he said they (ZCDC) only employed about 11 people through him and is wondering the manner in which they are using to employment to the mine people,’ he said.
Committee chairperson, Temba Mliswa applauded MDT for bringing the issues to the Parliament adding that it will go a long way in helping them to deliberate on the issues.
Meanwhile, ZCDC has been accused of operating without the mandatory Environmental Impact Assessment and also for failing to construct new road preferring to use roads meant for animal-drawn scotch-carts.