Zimbabwe to displace more for diamond mining

Zimbabwe to displace more for diamond mining
Published: 28 September 2017
Government - through its Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) - could relocate more people in Manicaland province to pave way for diamond mining, if it secures claims to the Tsvingwe area.

Tsvingwe villagers do not have title deeds to the land.

Diamonds were reportedly discovered in Penhalonga - just outside Mutare - in April this year.

This comes as several diamond miners, before they were force-merged to form ZCDC, relocated scores of people from the gem-rich Chiadzwa area to Arda Transau.

The Daily News understands that exploration for diamond deposits in the area is complete, with ZCDC already working on an environmental impact assessment.

Mining activist, Farai Maguwu, said the biggest concern was fair compensation of the villagers.

"Our biggest fear is displacement without compensation. This community does not even have tittle deeds for their stands. The problem is with Mutasa Rural District Council," Maguwu said.

He said without tittle deeds, the community would negotiate from a "very weak position".

"They are very vulnerable," Maguwu said.

The villagers who were relocated to Arda Transau have been complaining about poor inhabitable houses, lack of schools and access to health facilities - amenities they enjoyed in Chiadzwa.

A local resident, however, said Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Mandiitawepi Chimene, promised to follow up on their property ownership documents, after the issue had been raised at a public meeting.

"The minister said we should leave everything to her and we are waiting for her feedback on the issue," John Muchena said.

Meanwhile, Manicaland authorities are currently battling to secure land to relocate families from Chiadzwa.

Arda Transau can only accommodate 1 800 out of the 4 300 displaced families, with government failing, 10 years down the line, to secure alternative land.

Former Manicaland Provincial Administrator, Tapuwa Mbetsa, confessed during his tenure that government was battling to find land to relocate the affected families.

The Mutare District Administrator's office had previously confirmed that the desperate families had made requests to be relocated somewhere else.

If the Tsvingwe community resists relocation, they may be forcefully moved, but it is, however, prohibited under Article 47 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
- dailynews
Tags: Diamonds,


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