Better days coming for Marange community
THE Government will closely monitor Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company Private Limited in the implementation of community projects meant to uplift livelihoods of the displaced Marange communities.
Addressing villagers in Chiadzwa on Wednesday during a tombstone erection ceremony held at Chitangazuva Reburial Cemetery site where ZCDC is assisting villagers to properly rebury their deceased relatives, Mines and Mining Development Minister, Cde Walter Chidhakwa, said it was high time locals benefit from the mineral resources mined at their doorstep.
He said ZCDC was mandated to work in harmony with the Marange community and help improve villagers’ lives.
The erection of the tombstones, he said, was one of the many ways the public entity was doing to right the wrongs that were committed by the previous miners.
“ZCDC has the full support of Government to do programmes for the community. I will continue to follow them and ask them how far they have gone in doing the projects here in Chiadzwa,” he said.
“The ZCDC chief executive officer has instructions to do programmes for the community. We know that your community share ownership trust does not have funds because it was only given $400 000 which you used to do some projects which were not finished.
“Those projects you started must be completed. I will sit down with ZCDC chief executive officer, Dr Moris Mpofu, and agree on what amount we will inject into the trust,” said Cde Chidhakwa.
Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Dr Chris Mushohwe, who is also Mutare West legislator, said the Chiadzwa community must find salvation with the coming on board of ZCDC.
He said locals must be given first employment opportunities at the mines.
“I am very happy with the relations ZCDC is building with the community. This is actually different from what we used to experience when there many companies here. Now the new Government company can relate with the people, can listen to the people’s plight and I as the Member of Parliament for this area and a child born from this area, I am very optimistic about the good relationship that is existing,” he said.
Dr Mushohwe said the previous miners gave villagers a lot of empty promises.
He said Cde Chidhakwa had shown committement, together with the ZCDC management, in helping the Chiadzwa community and ensure that villagers benefit from the diamonds.
Dr Mpofu said ZCDC gives due regard to community needs and issues since corporate social responsibility forms part of their strategic pillars.
“Contrary to the expectations of both the community, Government and other stakeholders, development in the Marange area bares little reflection of the wealth that the area has created and has the potential to create. This is part of the reasons why ZCDC has taken deliberate action to engage the community with the intention of addressing key societal issues among them being the event we are gathered for here for.
“We acknowledge that a lot still needs to be done and at the same time we give assurance in the presence of our principals and stakeholders that ZCDC gives due regard to community needs and issues,” he said.
“We are working on programmes that will transform the community landscape of Marange. ZCDC is a child of this community. It is part of the community and it is seized with the responsibility to ensure that the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans particularly those in this area are transformed through extracting wealth hidden underground in diamonds and creating transgenerational wealth for the nation at large.
“To date, the organisation has invested in borehole drilling and rehabilitation, road maintenance and rehabilitation programmes, school renovations and clinic capacitating, scholarship sponsorship and graduate trainee programme benefitting the community,” he said.
Some of the villagers celebrate the new developments in Chiadzwa at the tombstone erection ceremony held at Chitangazuva Reburial Cemetery site where ZCDC is assisting villagers to properly rebury their deceased relatives on Wednesday