Mushowe warns firms mining in Marange

MUTARE - Manicaland provincial governor Christopher Mushowe has warned that the failure by firms mining in Marange to empower local communities will backfire.

Mushowe was speaking at a ministry of Mines and Minerals Development policy draft workshop held in Mutare.

He warned the diamond mining firms of unspecified action from the communities they operate from.

The governor said nothing had improved since President Robert Mugabe’s official visit in July last year to launch the Marange-Zimunya Community Ownership Trust.

“We had hoped the communities would benefit but alas, we are getting into July very soon to complete a 12-month cycle and nothing, absolutely nothing has taken place,” said Mushowe.

“I am talking on behalf of the people of Manicaland. The people of Manicaland are very patient people but not let that patience be taken for granted.

“The people of Manicaland continue to watch other provinces benefitting from their resources.

“The resources here in Manicaland Province are benefiting other people in other provinces,” said Mushowe.

“And we say ‘are we really being taken for granted to that extent?’ Kuno kuManyika tinoti kunyarara hakusi kupusa (Here in Manicaland we say silence is not a sign of weakness).

“If you build a small island of richness in the middle of a sea of poverty, the sea will drown the island. So let the island realise that it must appease the sea because the sea cannot continue to hold on to an island when that sea is hungry and the island does not know what to do with the food,” warned Mushowe.

He said it would be disastrous to let the situation in Chiadzwa remain unchanged.

“I have warned so that in future you won’t say you were not advised when the island of richness is being swallowed by the sea of poverty around it.

“We want investors that are sensitive to the plight of people (living) around them,” he said. - Sydney Saize

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