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‘Marange-Chiadzwa Diamond Fields Firms Cheated Us’-Marange-Zimunya Villagers
The villagers’ complaints were heard when the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment toured the area.
The portfolio committee headed by chairperson Justice Mayor Wadyajena toured corporate social responsibility programmes that were done by Mbada Diamonds.
The committee conducted a public hearing at Zimunya Community Hall where the villagers castigated the diamond mining companies for failing to honour their pledge towards the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust.
Villagers in Zimunya say the diamond miners not only lied to the people but also to senior government officials including President Robert Mugabe as they pledged before him that they will contribute money on the day the Marange-Zimunya Community Trust was launched.
The five diamond mining companies had pledged US$10 million each but only Mbada and Marange paid out US$400 000 between them.
Earlier on, St Noah College headmaster Mr Cuthbert Rungwe told the portfolio committee that close to US$300 000 was availed by Mbada for infrastructure construction, and school uniforms for more than 2 600 pupils.
Headman Chiadzwa also concurred Mbada had at least done something.
Some economies such as Botswana were literally built by the diamond industry but Zimbabweans are yet to see any meaningful contribution from the gemstone.
The government has consolidated all the mines under one firm after discovering massive underhand dealings.