diamonds 03.08.10.jpgThe presence of mining concerns exploiting diamonds in the Marange area of Manicaland province is expected to improve the livelihoods of villagers as already relations have been established. 

The comments by the traditional leadership in Marange come against the backdrop of concerns previously made by villagers around the Marange area who criticised the mining firms for sidelining villagers in the mining of the precious stones.

Speaking soon after the handover ceremony of foodstuffs valued at around US$ 300 000 to more than 3 000 families around Marange area by Mbada Diamonds, Headman Killion Gonora of Gonora village hailed the improved relations between the diamond mining firms and the villagers.

“We really appreaciate the help that has been extended to the people of Marange by the mining concern in our area. Our relations are improving by each day,” said Mr Gonora.

Another headman, Patrick Chiadzwa of the Chiadzwa village commended the mining firm for heeding the call by the villagers to engage the locals in the exploitation of the resource.

He however encouraged the firms to increase locals’ participation as well as to expedite the compensation and relocation of the affected families.

“We are grateful of efforts being made by the mining firms. There is however more that needs to be done particularly around the issue of compensation and relocation of the affected families. We are also saying let the locals have a stake in the mine,” said Mr Chiadzwa.

Close to 4 000 families were handed over foodstuffs at a ceremony attended by the Marange traditional leadership from over 10 villages with each household receiving 4 kilogrammes of sugar, 40 kilogrammes of mealie meal and 8 litres of cooking oil, among other foodstuffs.