ZANU PF youths in Manicaland have threatened to besiege the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) premises in Marange to demonstrate against the firm’s alleged failure to employ locals.
Source: Zanu PF youths threaten diamond mining firm – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 29, 2016
BY KENNETH NYANGANI/VENERANDA LANGA
The party’s provincial youth chairperson, Mubuso Chinguno, made the remarks on Tuesday at Bezel Bridge business centre in Marange, while addressing hundreds of youths from the Zimunya-Marange district.
“We want an audit at ZCDC to know how many people from the entire Manicaland province are employed by the company.
It’s sad local youths are marginalised and are not being employed by the company,” he said.
“We are demanding that 75% of the workers employed by the company should be locals. If they fail to do so, we are going to demonstrate because I have received reports that many locals are shunned from general hand to managerial positions. I am ready to lead the demonstration from the front. We are going to picket there until they address the situation.”
Chinguno said the problem of not employing locals started with the former diamond companies, whose licences were early this year revoked by the government.
Chinguno also urged ZCDC to help poverty-stricken women with money to start projects and also improve infrastructure development in the province.
Marange communities recently complained that the diamond miner was worse than the previous firms among them Mbada Diamonds.
They alleged human rights abuses by the police, military and security personnel of the company.
Chinguno also gave rural district councils an ultimatum of up to October 31 to provide land to Zanu PF youths, failure of which demonstrations would also be organised against them.
“I am going to lead a revolution in this province so that people are empowered. If we are arrested, then there is no problem, even war veterans spent many years in jail,” he said.
Meanwhile, villagers in Marange were shocked by revelations by President Robert Mugabe that $15 billion diamond revenue went missing, a Parliament report on the Zimunya-Marange Community Share Ownership Trust (CSOT) has said.
The report, presented by the Justice Mayor Wadyajena-led Youth and Indigenisation Parliamentary Portfolio Committee to the National Assembly on Tuesday, recommended that displaced villagers be compensated.
“They (villagers) argued that the President must have been aware of what was happening at the diamond fields, as every Wednesday a plane would come to pick up diamonds for resale,” they said.
The committee noted fear, rage, and pessimism in the Zimunya-Marange community around the perceived plundering of the diamonds and the ensuing manipulation of the CSOT.
“Villagers are bitter that despite being one of the most lucrative diamond fields in the world, five years after diamond mining began, their area has remained poor and underdeveloped and revenues from mineral resources have failed to lift poor people out of the shackles of poverty,” reads the report.
“The communities are crippled by degraded environments, disease, perceived and real corruption in the handling of the CSOT funds, general poor service delivery and dilapidated infrastructure such as poor road networks, under-rehabilitated bridges, under equipped clinics with inadequate drug stock, and general food insecurity for the communities due to relocations from their plots, drought and general poverty.”
It said local resident’s hopes of benefiting from their local resources had been dashed, leading to speculation that Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere had misled Mugabe on the CSOT.