This was revealed by Tendayi Bobo, Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association Monitoring and Evaluation officer during her presentation at the three-day Zimbabwe Alternative Mining Indaba meeting held at Crown Plaza Hotel.
She blamed mining companies operating in Chiadzwa like Mbada and Anjin for relocating communities without adequate compensation.
“Most families can hardly afford to send their children to school and neither do they have access to medical facilities. Their plight is exacerbated by the fact that Chiadzwa is in climatic Region 5 which receives very little or no rainfall at all,” Bobo added.
Environmental damage was widespread with mining companies like Zimasco leaving gullies and dongas in Zvishavane and Shurugwi. Mining had led to the pollution of water in Singwizi, Save and Odzi Rivers around the Chidzwa diamond fields.
“Communities are exposed to health hazards,” Bobo said.
Bobo noted with concern that while corporate social responsibility is not a legal obligation, it contributes significantly to community development.
“The way contracts have been negotiated lack transparency and there is need to renegotiate the Canadile and the Zisco Essar deal since the country is not going to reap benefits from such deals. Of particular concern is the Essar deal where government is said to get only $700 million yet the iron ore is worth over $30 billion,” Bobo added.
The announcement by the Finance Minister that some companies were evading tax in the 2011 budget was also testimony that the country was not benefitting from its vast mineral resources. Recently Minister Biti announced that the Government was broke to the extent that there were fears civil servants could fail to access their November and December bonuses.
Secrecy in the diamond mining sector and refusal by government to allow parliament and civil society organisations to monitor the situation in Marange has led to suspicion of diamond smuggling and looting by senior government officials and foreigners.Post published in: News