BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
ALROSA Zimbabwe says it is yet to commence diamond mining in the Checheche area in Manicaland province amid fears of forced displacement of locals.
In a statement, Alrosa said it fully complied with all national regulations on stakeholder and community engagement in the country.
“Alrosa Zimbabwe started prospecting and preliminary exploration works for primary diamond deposits in Matabeleland South and Masvingo provinces of Zimbabwe in 2020. In the Checheche area of Manicaland province, field works will commence in the quarter of 2021 the earliest. No field work has been done there yet,” the statement read.
“Alrosa Zimbabwe has successfully acquired Environmental Impact Assessment approvals from the Environmental Management Agency of Zimbabwe, committing to engage local communities at all stages of its operations.”
Alrosa said Chief Musikavanhu and Chief Mutema, and their respective headmen acknowledged that the community welcomed the development that may commence by the end of 2021.
But people from Chipinge, who have been fretting over forced evictions, recently petitioned Lands minister Anxious Masuka urging government to prioritise the rights of locals.
They demanded an immediate stop to the use of force and violence by investors, which includes slashing of crops, confiscation of livestock and beating up of residents.
Women said there was a need to stop corruption and undue influence during investor consultation with traditional leaders and demanded fair compensation that includes alternative productive land and adequate time for relocation.
“We demand social service delivery like maternal clinics, water, dip tanks for all including women, youth and people living with disability,” the petition
The petition was conceived when the Rural Women of Chipinge in Zimbabwe with support from Platform for Youth and Community Development and Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies met in Checheche on October 5, 2021.