ZCDC takes over Chiadzwa

ZCDC takes over Chiadzwa | The Herald April 5, 2016

Lloyd Gumbo

Senior Reporter

The newly formed Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) has taken over claims in Chiadzwa that were owned by companies whose grants were not renewed by Government.

Most of the signage at the companies have since been removed and replaced with those of the Government-owned company.

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment chaired by Zanu-PF MP for Gokwe-Nembudziya Cde Justice Mayor Wadyajena was in Chiadzwa over the weekend for public hearings with the Marange community to establish whether the communities derived any benefits from the operations of the companies.

The committee also toured Mbada Diamonds and Anjin Investments offices in Chiadzwa where they were told that operations ceased on February 22, 2016 when Government barred the companies.

No mining was taking place at all the mines except at Marange Resources which is wholly- owned by Government.

Marange Resources is the only company that applied for renewal of its mining grant and it is expected to be the launch pad for the new ZCDC.

Security personnel from the CID Minerals Unit and the army secured all the companies while stationary machinery such as excavators could be seen dumped at the mines.

At Mbada Diamonds, chief executive Mr Thomas Lusiyano said they complied with the Government directive.

“The mine is under the control of security now. Our people are just here to look after our machinery following the court order,” he said.

“There are talks going on. We are hopeful that things will normalise.”

At Anjin Investments, board member and director Rtd Brig-Gen Munyaradzi Machacha said they took Government to court over its decision to stop operations.

“We are in the courts challenging the closure. We are challenging what was put in place. We feel we still have got a chance. When all appeal chances are exhausted, then we will take it from there,” said Mr Machacha.

Deputy general manager at the company Mr Shingi Manyeruke said their intention was not to fight Government’s decision on consolidation.

“Serious businesses are there to create value and we are not saying issues do not arise. They arise as you operate but issues have to be addressed in the interests of sustainability where the public interest is not hurt and the shareholder’s interests are not hurt. That balancing has got to be achieved,” he said.

Officials who spoke to The Herald during the tour confirmed that Government was completely in control of the mines with a few cases of intruders who were being apprehended.

However, villagers complained of harassment at the hands of security officials deployed to the mines.

They said security personnel either assaulted them or set dogs on them.

“Some of them come and harass us even at local bars. When our livestock stray into the mining claims and we try to retrieve them, they assault us accusing us of wanting to mine diamonds. They take our wives and daughters. What crime have we committed to deserve such harassment despite giving you diamonds?” queried village head Mr Willard Mukwada.

Another villager said they wanted ZCDC to consider their concerns first before proceeding with mining.

The villagers said they wanted a quota to be reserved for them in employment while efforts must also be made to ensure locals supply resources needed at the mine so they can also earn a living from the diamonds.