|Communities in the Marange diamond mining area in Zimbabwe are reportedly calling for a halt to the newly-established Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company's (ZCDC) mining operations in the area, according to local media reports, claiming the situation of locals had worsened.
The ZCDC, the government entity established to consolidate all diamond mining activity in the area under one company, is accused of lack of transparency, polluting local water sources and an increase in human rights violations, reports Zimbabwe's NewsDay.
At a community-led annual general meeting last week, the local's reportedly complained that in contrast to the expectations that the coming-in of ZCDC would bring relief to the communities, actually the situation had worsened, with locals losing jobs, and new employees being hired from outside the community.
Malvin Mudiwa, from Marange Community Development Trust, said human rights violations by members of the military and police, as well as the company's security personnel, had worsened, reports the news source.
"The water has become undrinkable," said Mudiwa, as quoted by the news source. "I don't know how we will survive. We do not know where we will get clean water to drink from. We are actually drinking mud."
"We now call on the government to halt the operations of ZCDC because it has done nothing for the betterment of our lives in Chiadzwa," added Mudiwa.
Centre for Natural Resource Governance director, Farai Maguwu, reportedly stated that the government was taking the nation for a ride."ZCDC is just a group of looters led by officials in the Mines ministry," said Maguwu, as quoted by the news source. "It is a group of corrupt officials, who have worsened mining operations in Marange. Proper investigations must be done. ZCDC was set up so that some individuals continue looting the resources," he said.