Chiadzwa, which is in Marange, is traditionally an arid area which is a poor area for agriculture. The little crops that withstood the drought were destroyed by illegal panners leaving the villagers with little rt nothing to depend on.
Despite sitting on mineral wealth worth billions of United States Dollars the villagers’ from Chiadzwa and surrounding areas are scrounging for food.
The majority of them are relying on handouts from relatives from Mutare for basic foodstuffs.
The local leadership has been pestering companies mining in the area to come to the rescues of the villagers resulting in Mbada Diamonds, one of the three companies mining diamonds in the area donating foodstuffs to 3 800 people.
Each household received 40kgs maize-meal, 8 litres of cooking oil, 3 kgs of sugar beans, 4 kgs of sugar and 2 kgs of salt.
The distribution was done at Chiadzwa Clinic.
But while the villagers expressed gratitude to Mbada Diamonds for its timely intervention, they complained bitterly that the companies mining in Chiadzwa were failing to deliver on their promises of constructing better houses for families to be relocated from the diamond-rich fields.
The villagers said they were angry with the slow progress on building better houses for them before they relocate.
They said the government wanted to move them out of the homes before the houses they are supposed to occupy at Arda Transau have been build. They complained the government wanted to dump them in the bush.
Patrick Chiadzwa said the companies should be seen to be doing something in terms of construction.
“Some of the companies mining here now have a year operating but nothing is being done in terms of fulfilling their promises of providing decent accommodation to the families to be relocated from the Chiadzwa diamond fields,” Headman Chadzwa said.
“Our villagers are prepared to move out of the mining companies’ concessions, but they cannot just move and settle in the bush. We want proper structures and better social amenities for the people. No one is resisting relocation, but we want everything to be done properly because a lot the communities around us.
The villagers are also complaining the Chinese national working for a Bejing – based company Anjin, were behaving as if they were above the law.
The villagers accused the Chinese of ill-treating their workers and beating them up once a labour dispute arises.
“They always threaten workers and villagers that they will report them to Zanu (PF) if they cause trouble,” said Tendai Makono, from Hotsprings.
The Chinese have also become unpopular with villagers because they have turned the area red – luring young women and girls into prostitution.