Churches want to visit Chiadzwa

Churches in Manicaland said they want permission to visit Chiadzwa diamond area to preach the word of God in an effort to stop politically motivated violence and criminal activities.

Police have confirmed that murder and violence have rocked the diamond area and said there was need for dialogue amongst the warring parties to stop the bloodshed.

Law enforcement agents declared Marange area a no-go area after they embarked on an operation code named Hakudzokwi which was meant to flush out illegal diamond buyers and panners.

Since then there has never been stability in the area – with police recording a 90 percent increase in violence and murder cases.

Speaking at a meeting organized by Churches in Manicaland, Anglican Bishop Sebastian Bakare said the organization should be given permission to access the area to minister the word of God and stop violence.

Other bishops present underscored the need for government to establish diamond polishing and cutting centres in Marange to empower the local communities – who continue to live in abject poverty despite sitting on vast tracts of diamonds.

“Diamonds should benefit the people of Manicaland but it looks like locals are by passed while Chinese are taking over the control of our resources,” said Reverend Jonathan Chindewere.

The church leaders said they were not political but wanted to act as mediators to promote peace and justice.

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