Maguwu calls for protection of Chiadzwa villagers

farai_magawuHARARE - Zimbabwe diamond activist, Farai Maguwu (Pictured), says there is an urgent need for the government to provide security for people living in the gem-infested Marange area.

Maguwu said it was important for the government to consider the welfare of the villagers ahead of commercial interests pushing for the relocation of the thousands of families in the area. I feel there is a need for the government, NGOs and the international community to secure the security of the people of Marange, said Maguwu at a recent event organised by the United States Embassy to discuss human security.

About 50 000 families have so far been relocated from Marange. The families were given small plots, 200 bags of maize meal to share but no seed and fertilizer at the time. They recently received a $ 1000 fee per family as disturbance fees. Vital facilities such as schools and clinics are located three km away from the residences and the timing of the relocation in mid-agricultural season was wrong.

There was no proper planning and these do not meet the minimum United Nations standards on human security, said the Mutare-based diamond activist. Maguwu said the Kimberley Process (KP), which regulates world diamond trade, should be tougher when dealing with Zimbabwes diamond trade compliance. This was against a backdrop of claims by the Zimbabwean government that it had finally secured authorisation to sell its diamonds mined between 2006 and 2009 at Marange.

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