Cletus Mushanawani in Mutare
PRESIDENT has assured the people of Manicaland that the recently formed Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (Pvt) Limited will deliver on the promises made to the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust.
This comes after an outcry from the people of Manicaland that the companies that used to mine at the Chiadzwa diamond fields had sold them a dummy after undertaking to avail $50 million to the Trust in July 2012.
The five companies, Mbada Diamonds, Anjin, Diamond Mining Company, Marange Resources and Jinan each pledged to avail $5 million towards the Trust, but only Mbada and Marange Resources contributed $400 000 in June 2013, almost a year after the launch.
President Mugabe said he was not pleased by the conduct of the diamond miners, resulting in the Government cancelling the companies’ mining licences.
“Kuno kuManicaland munechigumbu chekuti maChina akativimbisa kuti vachazonge vachipa mari yecommunity share trust sezvakaitwa kwaZvimba nekuMhondoro-Ngezi, asi hapana chakabuda. Vakandifambisa ndakabata ziboard rakanyorwa zicheque asi havana kuzozadzisa zvavakavimbisa,” said President Mugabe.
“Neniwo ndineshungu nezvakaitika. Takazovatorera tikati chiendai zvenyu, nokuti taida kuti zvicherwa zvedu zvicherwe zvakanaka,” he said.
He said court challenges by some of the mining companies that had their licences cancelled had delayed full-scale mining operations at Chiadzwa.
“Some of the companies dragged us to court and they lost. I want to assure you that once we begin to mine diamonds and sell them, we will not forget the promises that we made. We are not the ones who gave you empty promises, but the companies that were mining there,” he said.
On other development projects for Manicaland, President Mugabe said work on the much-awaited Marovanyati Dam would resume soon following the release of funds by Treasury.
“Work on the dam construction will commence soon. I am told that machinery to restart the project was delivered to the dam site and what is left is for people to start work,” he said.
Marovanyati Dam is located on the Mwerahari River and is intended to provide domestic and industrial water supply to Murambinda and irrigation of 3 650ha of agricultural land.
The contract was awarded to China Jiangxi International Corporation in August 2002 under TBR No. 282 and construction commenced in November 2003 and was expected to be complete in 2009.
The project has been mothballed after the contractor suspended works from November 2007 due to lack of funding.
The project was 40 percent complete when work stopped.
When work was suspended, clearing of dam and spillway foundations, soft excavations of spillway approach and return channel, cut off excavations and grouting, outlet works soft and hard excavations had been completed.
It will be 470 meters long and 30 meters at its deepest when completed.
At least $18 million is now needed for its excavation, outlay work and dam wall construction.
More than 70 000 families near Murambinda Growth Point in Buhera are set to benefit from the dam.