MUTARE–Marange community has said the return of Anjin
Investments to mine diamonds at Chidzwa diamond fields has shown
government’s shielding of ‘dark secrets’ in the diamond fields in
order to maintain individual’s selfish interests.
Minister of Mines and Mining Development Winstone Chitando
recently officially announced the return of Anjin Investments diamond
company, which has already resumed mining operations in Chiadzwa.
Investigations carried by Zim Morning Post have revealed that the company is not mining diamonds from its original place in
Chirasika and Jese, but it has invaded the Portal Q previously mined
by Diamond Mining Corporation (DMC).
Portal Q covers villagers that include Tarindwa, Chiadzwa and Maora. Other villagers are Makotamo, Tinoingana and Rambai.
Anjin mined the precious gem in Chiadzwa from 2009 to 2016 before
government decided to revoke its licence with a number of diamond
companies including DMC, which mined in Chiadzwa leading to the
formation of the Zimbabwe Consolidation Diamond Company (ZCDC).
At a press conference held in Mutare over the weekend by
Amalgamated Chiadzwa Development Communities Trust (ACDCT), Jay Kasakara who is the organisation’s Marange Chapter chairman said the Anjin Investment’s case was a clear example of secretive mining
practices in Marange that are not transparent, accountable and causing
all forms of human rights violations.
“ACDCT is deeply saddened by the decision by government to allow new diamond mining operations in Marange without following due
process,” said Kasakara.
Kasakara said Anjin Investment’s previous mining background was
clouded in serious human rights abuses and worker’s rights violations.
The Trust said the company’s activities were not transparent and accountable.
“President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa assured our community when he came to Marange in 2018 that there was not going to be any new diamond mining company without a clear mining policy that will make it mandatory for communities to directly benefit from their resources,” said Kasakara.
“But, the latest developments (Anjin’s return) are a clear indication
that President Mnangagwa and his government have reneged on this
promise. It is disheartening to note that government has preferred
Anjin to mine the alluvial diamonds that we thought were reserved for
the community,” he said.
The Trust said return of Anjin was a direct imposition of government’s
will in Marange diamond area.
“The new dispensation promised to introduce a diamond act and a mines and minerals act that is aligned to constitution, but, it however
discouraging to note that there is lack of commitment by government to implement these reforms,” he explained.
Speaking at the same occasion, the Director of Centre for Research and
Development (CRD) James Mupfumi said there was need to immediately halt new mining developments in Marange.
“The government must move with speed to undertake a human rights due diligence process for the people of Marange to claim compensation for adverse impacts caused by Anjin diamond mining,” he said.
Mupfumi said it was important for the government to bring policies to
parliament to enable communities to participate in the making of the
laws that govern their resources.