Ex-MP wants diamond accountability

Former MDC-T legislator for Mutare West, Shuwa Mudiwa, has pledged to ensure that Marange villagers benefit from the proceeds of diamond sales.

Mudiwa was recently acquitted on charges of holding an unsanctioned meeting with villagers in Chiadzwa where he told them to demand their right to benefit from mineral resources in their area.

In an interview with The Zimbabwean, Mudiwa said together with other pressure groups in the area, he would lobby for policies that promote transparency and accountability with regards to mineral resources in Manicaland.

In March, the Chiadzwa Community Development Trust reported that families relocated to Arda Transau by diamond mining company, Anjin Diamond Mining, were critically short of food after the company reneged on its pledge to support them.

CCDT said most of the displaced families were yet to get land for agriculture after their displacement. Anjin relocated more than 800 families to Arda Transau to pave the way for its diamond mining operations.

“We have been pushing to ensure that the people of Marange benefit from their mineral resources and as a former legislator, I feel bound to push for policies that promote transparency and accountability,” said Mudiwa.

Apart from the erratic food handouts, the people have yet to see the benefit of their displacement; neither do they get priority for mining jobs. The companies in Marange include Mbada Diamonds, Anjin and Marange Resources.

The discovery of diamonds in Marange has disrupted community life. Visitors to the area are restricted and police and mine guards have been accused of using heavy-handed tactics while enforcing security around the mines. Complaints of torture and victimisation abound, said Mudiwa.

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