Chiadzwa case: Hard lessons for Chisumbanje villagers

The recent developments unfolding in Chiadzwa, Marange are a cause for concern for the entire nation. The deception of Chiadzwa villagers by diamond mining companies hasserious implications for communities living around natural resources in Zimbabwe, amid glaring evidence that government is not doing enough to address the pending issues of community social responsibility and beneficiation as contained in the ZIMASSET blueprint.

Zimbabwe needs more responsible diamond mining companies, not fly-by-night operators. Reuters/Goran Tomasevic

Zimbabwe needs more responsible diamond mining companies, not fly-by-night operators. Reuters/Goran Tomasevic

Platform for Youth Development observes that mining companies that had been operational in the Marange area had not fulfilled their responsibilities and obligations to surrounding and displaced communities. These responsibilities and obligations still subsist regardless of changes in mine ownership since the mining operations made profits and were responsible for the displacement.

PYD apportions responsibility to the government of Zimbabwe for failing to monitor the social impacts of the mining operations from the construction phase to the operational phases of the mining.The act of closing the mines is not entirely a solution since there has been no plan to ensure that any adverse social impacts on the outlying environment were minimized or addressed. If there is no social audit carried out to ascertain outstanding liabilities and responsibilities by the previous mine operators, closing of the mining and the bringing in of new investors remains futile in resolving the community concerns.

Platform for Youth Development recommends that any new ownership structure should commence operations only after acquiring a baseline of current conditions of the mine infrastructure and how it relates with the outlying environment, and show how it will address issues of concern identified by the baseline. While Mbada Diamonds may have done significantly well, there is still need to offer a uniform treatment on all the defaulting mining companies.

From a community and youth perspective, villagers have a right to be formally informed of changes that have taken place and how future arrangements will affect them. The issue of local employment, compensation, principles of ZIMASSET and social impacts forming mining operations should be tackled with adequate stakeholder consultations.

In the case of Chisumbanje ethanol project, promises continue to be made without government coming in to monitor the implementation. The visit made by the Hon Mayor Justice Wadyajena led portfolio committee on Youth, Indigenization and Economic Empowerment in July 2014 was characterized by the same outbursts and anger witnessed at the public hearings conducted on Friday 1 April 2016 in Marange.There is clear testimony that investors are working in collaborations with corrupt ZANU PF personalities in cabinet who are part of the conspiracy to rob Zimbabweans of their natural resources. In contrast the local communities are living in grinding poverty despite the public proclamation of benefitting them.

Admittance by H.E cde Robert Mugabe the President of Zimbabwe, that 15 billion dollars has been lost in Chiadzwa is a call for government to take its responsibilities in Chisumbanje seriously to avoid a repetition of the Marange diamonds scenario.

Inserted by the PYD Information Department For more details contact the PYD Director on +263 773010 331 or PYD Board Chair on +263 772 896 458

Post published in: Business

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *