|Sese community, Chivi.|
….diamond company accused of dividing community through bribes
CHIVI – The Sese community, represented by Sese Community Trust, has given Murowa Diamonds a 22-day ultimatum to vacate Danhamombe School premises in Zhara village from where the mining company is conducting prospective work.
The trust, which claims that it tried in vain to engage the company for a dialogue, is now calling for that the company must immediately leave and find another space which does not disturb learning.
The company has been in the area since 2018 ostensibly doing prospective work and has set base at the school on a 24 000 hectare piece of land.
Many villagers believe the company was done with all prospective work and is clandestinely mining diamonds without declaring it.
In a letter dated November 13 which was given to Murowa Diamonds, signed by the School Development Committee (SDC) chairperson Junius Gurajena, the community demands that the company must stop using school resources like water and electricity and should leave the premises.
“I am writing to inform Murowa Diamond Mining company that on 13 November 2020, Danhamombe SDC held a meeting and resolved that Murowa Diamond Mine remove its camp together with all its assets from school premises,” reads part of the paper
Trust members who spoke to TellZim News said they had found a donor who was willing to help the school develop its agriculture but all the space had been occupied by the mining company.
Village head Kizito Zhara said the mining authorities did not engage him and his people and was dividing members of the community by bribing some of them using maheu, fertiliser and maize seed.
The trust secretary Musiiwa Musiiwa said they were no longer interested in talking but they should leave the school and find another place to settle.
“We are past the time we wanted dialogue, now we want them to leave and find another place even at the shops, if we are to talk we will then talk from there not within our school,” said Musiiwa.
Sese Community Trust committee member Juliet Shumba said authorities should facilitate dialogue between the school and the community.
“Elsewhere, we have seen people being displaced when there are mining activities like these. We, therefore, fear for our future and we do not feel that we are stable enough to develop our homes. Mining authorities should tell us how all this will end,” said Shumba
Chivi Rural District Ward 20 Councillor Alec Nhundu said he was on the side of the people and he supported whatever they wanted.
“I represent people and whatever they say is what I want. They are calling for the company to move out of the school premises and that is what I want also. I have talked to council and they said they did not know that Murowa was still in the area,” said Nhundu.
Another part of the letter said the school should start clearing part of the piece of land occupied by the company for agriculture.
Other residents claimed that the mine used to leave contaminated water points bare and a number of livestock had died after drinking the water.
School pupils who spoke to TellZim News complained about noise but also said they were getting water and electricity from the mine.
“There is a lot of noise from the mine and it disturbs us a lot, but we also get water and electricity when ours is down,” said the pupil.