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Community confronts Zimbabwe government-owned diamond company over relocation

The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), an entity owned by the Government of Zimbabwe, is involved in a dispute with a community at Charleswood in Manicaland province over plans to displace more than 50 families without following due diligence.

The community are demanding that ZCDC leaves Charleswood, as it is operating without an approved Environmental Impact Assessment Plan, and lacks transparency and accountability.

In a meeting held yesterday between the community and the ZCDC, an incensed group of people did not allow a representative of the ZCDC to speak.

According to the community, the ZCDC plans to relocate people to an unproductive piece of land at Springfield. But they are pressing for a $15, 000 compensation and a relocation to Ardu in Risitu.

There is wide belief that the ZCDC’s actions indicate that the state-owned entity regards itself as the law in itself. Security a mining licence is a prerequisite for any mining operations anywhere in the world, and Zimbabwe is no exception.

During the meeting, the community leaders accused the ZCDC for intimidating people earmarked for relocations to sign documents whose contents they did not understand.

Ironically, the government, through ZCDC, merged diamond mining operations in Manicaland to improve accountability and transparency. However, according to new evidence suggests that diamond mining exploitation in the Manicaland region is said to be one of the major sources of funding for ZANU PF activities at the expense of economic development of communities.