Zimbabwe: Villagers Protest Against Mining Company

George Maponga — Masvingo Bureau

Scores of placard-waving villagers in Sese have staged a demonstration demanding an immediate stop to exploration activities by Murowa Diamond Company.

The villagers, some carrying children on their backs and chanting slogans, want Murowa to leave their area accusing the company of a litany of allegations ranging from overstaying in the area to land degradation.

Murowa also stands accused of threatening key infrastructure in Mashamhanda Village where the gem extractor started exploring yesterday around dawn.

Mashamhanda Village head Mr Mujaho Mashamhanda says their livelihoods were under threat from Murowa, whose drilling threatens the nearby Chamakanda dip tank and a dam also going by the same name.

Mr Mashamhanda charged that Murowa was defying villagers’ calls to end their exploration and come to the negotiating table to appreciate their concerns.

The demonstrating villagers vowed to press ahead with their action until Murowa leaves their ancestral home and negotiates with them.

Besides drilling exploration holes across Sese, another bone of contention between the villagers and Murowa is the latter’s persistent refusal to decamp from Danhamombe High and St Simon Zhara primary schools in the area.

Murowa workers refused to comment when The Herald crew sought a comment from them in the Mashamhanda Village where they are drilling.

Murowa has more than 200 mining claims in Sese and has been exploring for diamonds in the area since 2018 to establish whether kimberlites in the area are diamond ferrous.

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