'Political Bickering Stalls Marange Share Ownership Trust'

By Kenneth Matimaire

Marange, September 26, 2016 – POLITICAL bickering among traditional leaders and villagers in Marange has disrupted the smooth running of the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust, a local headman has said.

Because of the discord, headman Mukwada said, politicians and the miners who were meant to oversee the implementation of the lucrative project took advantage and abandoned country’s biggest Trust, worth $50 million.

“Some politicians and miners we have demanded answers from on numerous occasions informed us that our Trust is failing to operate because there are problems with the Indigenisation Act,” Mukwada said recently.

“They said it’s not clear. We also have other pressure groups that inform us that our Trust is a victim of the 1964 mining laws that we are using.”

Headman Mukwada said he did not believe the reasons proffered for the failure of the project to see the light of day as other similar projects elsewhere had been implemented almost flawlessly.

“We lost a lot of opportunities and time fighting along political lines,” Mukwada said.

“Some chiefs don’t want the MP and the chiefs and headmen fight one another. Why are we not united? Why can’t Headmen Mukwada, Chief Marange, Headman Chiadzwa and others fight in one corner?

“By the time we start realising this and resolving our political differences, it will be too late because a lot has been lost. If we had been united from the beginning, this thing would have succeeded long back.”

Although Mukwada did not mention names, it has emerged some traditional leaders in the area were not happy with the former MDC-T legislator while others have reservations with the current sitting MP, Christopher Mushohwe, who oversees Marange.

Chief Marange and Chief Zimunya, who co-chair the Trust, reportedly also do not see eye to eye.

The latter was peeved by that diamond companies chose to build a house for the former only yet they play the same role under the Trust.

There was also serious infighting within the Chiadzwa family over the headmanship of the diamond rich area, which was attributed to political infiltration when government established the Trust.

The scenario was further worsened by the fact that some of the villagers accuse their traditional leaders of benefiting from the diamond companies at the expense of the entire community.