Villagers Demand Compensation For Being Moved From Diamond Fields

Chiadzwa Community Development Trust (CCDT) chairman Malvern Mudiwa said the families had agreed not to be moved before receiving their compensation in full. CCDT is a trust that was set up by the people of Chiadzwa to fight for the rights of the people.

“We have been talking with the government and the companies that are mining diamonds that families want to get their full compensation before leaving the Chiadzwa area,” said Mudiwa.

Mudiwa said the money will be used to buy shares in the companies that are mining the precious gems so that the Chiadzwa community fully benefit.

“Our aim as a trust is to negotiate with the companies mining there to let the villagers buy shares so that they also become part of it as well, we have been negotiating to get claims but it looks like all the claims have been finished,” said Mudiwa.

Mudiwa also said families in the area would also want the issue of graves of their relatives to be addressed before they move.

“Where they are extracting diamonds graves are not going to be spared so family members want this issue to be addressed before being relocated to ARDA Transau,” said Mudiwa. “They want their relatives to be given a decent re-burial,” he said.

Farai Maguwu director of Centre for Research and Development, CRD, an NGO that looks into human rights abuses in Chiadzwa area said the US$50 000 per house hold that is being demanded by the people of Chiadzwa is justified.

“It’s very much justified and it’s also in tandem with the UN habitat minimum standards for relocation. First there must be prior concern for the people to be moved, secondly there must be adequate preparation in the relocation site before people are moved and thirdly there must be compensation because normal life is disrupted when people are being moved and cultural values are being violated,” said Maguwu.

Maguwu said the families that are being relocated need to have their people reburied and it is this cultural dislocation that is caused by these movements that companies that are mining in Chiadzwa need to compensate.

“There is also infrastructure that has been developed by these families over the years and there is disruption to health, education, agriculture and many other basic necessities of life that they are being deprived as the government and companies are trying to make the new place habitable. Finally it’s not by choice that they are being moved from this area and this forced movement is because companies want to make money from Chiadzwa and there is nothing wrong with the families getting US$50 000 as compared to the billions of dollars that the companies will be making,” said Maguwu.

About twenty families have been moved to from Chiadzwa to ARDA Transau and they were paid about US$1 000 per household.

Five companies that are already mining in Chiadzwa are Marange Resources formerly Canadile Miners, Mbada Diamonds, Anjin Zimbabwe, Sainol Zimbabwe and Pure Diamonds.