Minister of State for Manicaland Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba says the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company should implement a sustainable relocation model for families in Chimanimani where the State miner began operations last year.
Dr Gwaradzimba said her office was concerned with the way the villagers in Arda Transau had been relocated and said she would engage ZCDC to ensure a different model was used in Chimanimani.
Hundreds of families were relocated to the farm from Chiadzwa to pave way for mining activities.
All diamond mining activities have since been consolidated under the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company.
Minister Gwaradzimba said relocation of people should be done in a sustainable manner to ensure that the livelihoods of the villagers are not disrupted.
“One issue that I am concerned about is the issue of relocation of families in Chimanimani. We need to come up with a model that will allow our people to become self-sustainable. They should not be moved from their communities and thrown in areas where they cannot continue fending for themselves and they are forced to survive on handouts,” she said.
“When they build homes for these people, we want irrigation schemes, to enable the people to venture into horticulture, aqua-culture and other projects. We want enough social amenities and roads among others to make the villages self-contained,” said Dr Gwaradzimba.
She said although she understood the economic challenges pertaining in the country, ZCDC could enter into partnerships with capacitated organisations for such projects to ensure that they do not strain their cash flows.
Dr Gwaradzimba said this would minimise conflict between the company and villagers in future.
More than two decades after villagers were moved from Chiadzwa, ZCDC is still battling with legacy issues emanating from promises made tocommunities by the seven companies that were operating in the area when diamonds were discovered._Manica Post