The Curse of Murowa Diamonds

The Curse of Murowa Diamonds
Published: 02 December 2017 (222 Views)
Dear Editor,

Surely something is very wrong with Zim diamonds. Are they cursed! Forget about the mystery around the $15billion, operation hakudzokwi or operation restore legitimacy but think of Operation Hope. Yes this is what we the impoverished Murowa Community long and crave for, Operation Hope.

Let us digress a bit and observe protocol. Congrats to the new minister of Mines Winston Chitando. You are a capable technocrat, who brought life to Zvishavane and the Midlands Province with people centred programs. Kudos please keep up the momentum even in your new role as a public servant. We expect nothing but excellence as you carry out your duties. You are our source of hope and inspiration.

Well our fellow countrymen, Murowa Diamonds is one of the richest mines in Zimbabwe. Situated in Zvishavane District the company is in oasis of wealthy, in a sea of dire poverty, underdevelopment and high levels of unemployment.

This is the only company in Zimbabwe whose employees fly to and from work, drive top of the range land cruisers coupled with high salaries and very generous packages which all leave the once flamboyant Dr Grace salivating. Sounds like a Hollywood movie... However despite being home to the precious gems once a pride of Rio Tonto, the place is characterized with dusty roads, makeshift bridges and a polluted environment. The air is saturated with fine dust, and the negative effects of mining activities are visible everywhere. Contaminated water bodies including Runde river, houses are cracking and falling due to the massive and excessive blasting reminiscent of the early colonial days. There is no electricity and sources of safe and clean water are drying up due to the diminishing water table as a result of the now very deep and massive crater, the mine pit. This huge crater is fast turning the naturally region 4 area into a desert.

To make matters worse the incumbent Operations Manager has mastered and perfected the art of tribalism and regionalism when it comes to recruitment of employees relegating locals to menial jobs on three months contract basis. Those in management and permanent posts are hired from faraway places with one particular region, Matabeleland dominating despite the presence of well qualified and experienced locals. We have post A level, artisans, tradesmen, accountants, engineers who are never considered by this local mine. The very few who have benefited include the local chiefs, officials from EMA, ministry of Mines and the M.P who received tokens and crumbs from the high table as a way of silencing them. The so called local owned companies are nothing but a façade of senior management.

The mine is doing nothing in terms of corporate social investment and didn't contribute a cent towards the community share ownership scheme. It is in this regard that we wish to publicly commend and applaud efforts by other corporations such as Mimosa, Unki, Zimplats and Lafarge. These companies are doing a splendid job despite the obtaining harsh economic conditions. We the locals of Murowa Ward demand visible development, a transparent employment system, fair compensation for our damaged infrastructure and uptake of school leavers into apprenticeship and learnership programs. Surely we can not fold our hands as our diamonds enrich a few greedy capitalists. These are our God given diamonds and must benefit the locals in a meaningful way after all diamonds are for ever but the mine has a life span. Enough is enough.

Disgruntled Murowa Community
Zvishavane District

- Disgruntled Murowa Community Zvishavane District

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