He said government had connived with diamond companies to hoodwink the Marange and Zimunya communities into believing that they would be given $50 million to kickstart developmental projects in the district. Only $400,000 has been paid to date.
“They (companies) don’t care about the people in Marange and Zimunya. All they want is to loot the diamonds,” he said. “We suspect that some government officials are working in cahoots with the miners to dupe us.”
The outspoken chief queried how the state could allow the miners to claim they were not aware of the existence of the Trust when they handed over a $1,5m dummy cheque to President Robert Mugabe during the launch in July 2012.
“Our people are very worried because they were there (at Gomorefu High School in Marange) when the money was publicly declared. But now the companies say they don’t know. Surely, President Mugabe showed the cheque to the world. Is it that they were doing it to tarnish the image of the President by giving him a fake cheque?” questioned Chief Marange.
The $50 million Marange-Zimunya trust was earmarked to transform the two underdeveloped areas, where there is only one hospital and a few sub-standard clinics. The road network is poor, with only 10 kilometres of the Odzi-Marange road being tarred.
This has been used on several development projects including a new hall in Chitora village, renovation of a church hall in 22 Miles, construction of a mother’s shelter in Chiadzwa, a clinic in Mupakanwa and a school in Buwerimwe.
“We have been forced to abandon other huge projects after the diamond miners refused to disburse the outstanding balance,” said the chief.Post published in: News