SCORES of villagers from Marange today staged a sponsored demonstration against Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), which they accuse of failing to create jobs and eradicate poverty in the area among other issues.
The villagers, who claimed to be poor but carried banners made from expensive material, demanded an explanation on the fate of the purported $15 billion generated from diamonds that reportedly went missing.
However, they failed to gain entrance into the company premises after the intervention of police. Deputy Manicaland provincial police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Luxson Chananda said he was yet to get details.
Contrary to the villagers’ claims, the diamond mining company has embarked on several community social responsibility programmes in Marange such as the rehabilitation of Mukwada clinic, drilling and repairing of community boreholes in Tinoengana village in Chiadzwa, construction of Gandauta Secondary School science laboratory block and installation of electricity and computers, rehabilitation of Banda Primary School, Chiadzwa and Mukwada clinics and roads as well as construction of bridges.
The company has also drilled and repaired boreholes in the district to address perennial shortages of safe drinking water.
Contacted for comment, ZCDC head of public relations, Mr Sugar Chagonda said the demos were politically motivated fingering opposition parties for fuelling them.
“We believe they are rented crowds sponsored by opposition political parties to discredit the good works we have done for the community. We have done a lot of community social responsibility programmes such construction of roads, rehabilitation of clinics, schools, supporting tillage programmes and drilling boreholes.
These people were used to receiving food handouts from Mbada Diamonds, which was more of a solution for immediate concerns yet what we are doing is something they will benefit from way into the future. We will however go to the ground to establish how it can be solved,” added Mr Chagonda who said he was on his way to Bulawayo to attend the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.
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