Home » Industry » Chiadzwa Villagers Vow Chinese Firm Showdown

ANJIN Investments, a Chinese company extracting diamonds at Marange in Manicaland, risks a showdown with villagers moved to make way for the mining activities after saying it was no longer responsible for their welfare.

Diamond companies operating in the district were supposed to compensate the hundreds of families relocated from the controversial diamond find as well as build houses and other key infrastructure for them such as roads, schools and clinics.

Anjin Investment is a joint venture between China-based Anhui Foreign Economic Construction of China and shadowy local military outfit called Matt Bronze of Zimbabwe.

Recently, relocated villagers vented their fury at the company saying the Chinese firm dumped them in the Odzi area without providing basics such as food and agricultural inputs as promised.

The villagers also said the $1,000 compensation which was paid by Anjin to each of the 474 relocated households under the company’s area of jurisdiction was not enough considering the wealth they lost during the relocation exercise.

Some of the villagers who were relocated to Arda Transau are still fighting battles with Anjin to secure decent accommodation.

But in recent statement, Anjin said “it felt that the mandate towards meeting investment obligation has been fulfilled”.

“The investment by Anjin represents the biggest inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) for mining activities in infrastructure in Chiadzwa, development of critical infrastructure such as 474 houses, primary and secondary school, clinic, water reticulation treatment plant, 45 km-long tarred road.

“As a company, we felt that the mandate towards meeting of investment obligation has been fulfilled,” reads the statement.

The company added: “The company will only be liable for the settling of electricity bills for the water plant treatment plant until July 31, 2015 by which date it is hoped the community and utility companies would have worked out alternative payment arrangements.”

The firm said “all matters to do with Arda Transau (relocation camp) must hence forth be directed to the Ministry of Local Government, National Housing and Planning”.

But villagers who spoke to New Zimbabwe.com last week were adamant that Anjin had not fulfilled its obligation.

They said the company is still to complete the construction and furnishing of classroom blocks as well as installation of irrigation facilities.

Arda Transau Relocation Development Trust (ARRDT) chairman, Cephas Gwayagwaya said there were many issues still to be finalised with Anjin.

He said the company was doing its business in secrecy with most villagers in the dark over their relocation.

“They (Anjin) are doing everything in secret all the time. There is a lot of unfinished business. They are joking and we have to stand up for our rights as Trust,” said Gwayagwaya.

Efforts to get comment from Anjin spokesperson, Munyaradzi Matyatya were fruitless as his mobile phone was not reachable

Source : New Zimbabwe