Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Chinese diamond firm disowns villagers

By Marcus Tawona

Chinese diamond mining firm Anjin Investments says it no longer has anything to do with the welfare of villagers relocated in Arda Transau in Odzi in 2011 because it has fulfilled its obligations to them.

Relocated families at Arda Transau
Relocated families at Arda Transau

The company is a joint venture between Anhui Foreign Economic Construction of China and shadowy military company Matt Bronze of Zimbabwe.

Recently, angry villagers said the Chinese dumped them in Odzi and were failing to provide basics such as food and inputs.

They said said the $1,000 compensation paid by Anjin to each of the 474 relocated households under their area of jurisdiction was not enough, considering the wealth they lost during the relocation exercise.

Some of their relatives are still trapped in the Chiadzwa diamond fields where they are exposed to all forms of pollution.

In a recent statement Anjin said it represented the biggest inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) for mining activities in infrastructure in Chiadza, had fulfilled its investment obligations and officially handed over the relocated area in Arda Transau to the Ministry of Local Government in 2012.

Arda Transau Relocation Development Trust (ARRDT) chairman, Cephas Gwayagwaya, rubbished this statement saying there were many issues yet to be finalised.

He blasted the Chinese firm for taking villagers for granted, saying the issue of relocation was not being done transparently.

“Everything is shrouded in secrecy. Villagers are in the dark but they should know because they are the ones who were affected by mining activities,” said Gwayagwaya.

Source: The Zimbabwean