Chiadzwa villagers to receive ‘sufficient’ compensation

MUTARE- Government will seek to create confidence in the people of Chiadzwa by ensuring relocated villagers will be sufficiently compensated and receive means for sustainable livelihoods.

Officials have assured that villagers will receive sufficient compensations as the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company embarks on a relocation exercise for families still living in diamond concessions.

This was revealed during a tour of the houses earmarked for the first batch of villagers to be relocated by ZCDC, with the Minister of Mines and Mineral Development giving orders that villagers should feel sufficiently compensated.

Minster Chidhakwa said the consolidated company will not renegade on pledges made to villagers by the former diamond mining firms which operated in Chiadzwa diamond fields.

“They should feel sufficiently compensated after all they are coming from a diamond area so this should also be reflected in what they get.

“So start identyfing the families to be relocated from DMC concession and ensure that they get maize to last them through to the next season. Also ensure that each family gets their disturbance allowance,” he said.

Adding that, “We need to create confidence in the people and ensure that we meet all the obligations that had been set by the mining companies because we have begun a process which they should ultimately benefit from.”

Chidhakwa also made assurances that the consolidated mining company will look into the quality of houses built for the relocated villagers as some of the houses are now cracking.

He said the ministry shall liase with management to look into issues of compliance and ensure that individual contractors meet set standards.

“We will ensure that the houses built meet the correct standards because our aim is not just to provide accommodation but one that gratifies the people, they must feel that they have been sufficiently compensated.

“We will work with specifications to evaluate their (construction contractors) work to see how it compares to the envisaged quality,” he said.

Chidhakwa said companies that shortchanged people through poor workmanship will have to answer for it.

“As a regulatory authority we have to be able to enforce and monitor all these issue and we will look at individual companies to see if we were shortchanged and whoever shortchanged should be followed up,” he said.

Villagers relocated to Arda Transau have complained that the houses constructed for them were poorly constructed with some of them already cracking.

The Ministerial delegation also witnessed some finished houses which are waiting occupation already cracking while the some floors are peeling off.

At least 500 families await relocation from DMC mining concession with only 71 houses constructed so far  while another 65  houses are on various levels of completion.