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Marange villagers irate as rains destroy homes 
10/01/2015 00:00:00
by Manicaland Correspondent
Leaking ... toilets destroyed by the rains

VILLAGERS who were relocated to Arda Transau Odzi in 2011 to pave way for diamond mining in Chiadzwa Marange have attacked diamond mining firms saying they constructed substandard houses after most of them were badly damaged by the on-going rains.

Irate villagers told Newzimbabwe.com that a Chinese owned company, Anjin Investment, is yet to attend to the damages while Mbada Diamonds has already carried out some renovations.

Villagers maintained that although Mbada did some repairs they feel the houses were substandard and there was need for thorough renovations.

Arda Transau Relocation Development Trust (ARRT) chairman, Cephas Gwayagwaya, confirmed that all is not well at Transau, saying there is confusion as to who should conduct some repairs on the damaged houses.

“Everything is marred in confusion because everything is being referred to the District Administrator. The handover of the houses to the ministry of local government and national housing by Anjin is not clear,” said Gwayagwaya.

He said a total of 10 houses under Anjin Relocation areas were badly damaged by rains and they are yet to be repaired and villagers were suffering.

Villagers have been in a bitter wrangle with Anjin over unfulfilled pledges chief among them the setting up of a communal irrigation project, paying adequate compensation and completion of infrastructure such as schools, roads and clinics.

In a recent press statement, Anjin distanced itself from the welfare of the relocated villagers, saying it had handed over the houses to government. But villagers are adamant the Chinese firm still has a lot to do in terms of compensating them.

They said they lost their livelihoods during the relocation exercise and wanted both government and Anjin to compensate them adequately.

Efforts to get comment from Anjin spokesperson, Munyaradzi Matyatya, were fruitless as his mobile phone was unreachable.



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