Home » Business » Shamed Mushowe Blasts ‘Lying Companies’

DISGRACED Manicaland provincial affairs minister Christopher Mushohwe, has accused diamond mining companies of reneging on their social responsibilities and “lacking moral conscience”.

Mushohwe was last week literally left with egg in the face after being grilled by legislators on his involvement in the pillaging of the precious stones in Manicaland.

The hearing followed claims that his bank account had been used to deposit funds meant for the Marange Community Share Ownership Trust.

In a bid to save face, Mushowe accused the seven companies licenced to mine diamonds in the Chiadzwa diamond fields – Mbada Diamonds, Marange Resources, Anjin Investments, Diamond Mining Company (DMC), Jinan, Kusena and Gye Nyame – of lacking social responsibility.

“There have been arguments, sometimes very persuasive by diamond companies that we are doing corporate social responsibility by building houses for villagers as if they built them for people who had been living in caves,” said Mushohwe.

“They had their homes and schools and what they did when they built the houses was simply to replace the villagers’ homes that they destroyed,” Mushohwe said.

The minister was appearing before the parliamentary portfolio committee on youth and indeginisation chaired by Zanu PF lawmaker Justice Mayor Wadyajena.

He said the local communities’ relocation to Arda Transau, had turned them into perpetual beggars at the mercy of the companies who he accused of being content to parcel out food hand-outs to the poor.

Mushowe added that the number of people who were relocated was actually much lower than those being bandied around by the companies.

He said out of the targeted 3,264 families targeted for relocation, only 986 houses were built by all the companies leaving out 2,278 families stranded in Chiadzwa.

“I have told the companies that when they brag that they are helping communities they will be looking down upon the people of Marange as stupid to leave graves of their relatives and agree to be relocated,” the provincial minister said.

“Those still in Chiadzwa have lost their fields, all grazing areas, and schools such as Gandauta High and Banda Primary schools they have no water and children go to school barefoot yet the DMC pipeline passes through the school”.

Mushohwe jumped to Environment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s defence over claims by company bosses that they had not committed to funding community trusts.

“Surely the moral conscience of the companies must be scrutinised,” he charged.

“These are the same companies who have representatives who come to this honourable house sitting before this honourable committee and claim that they not know that we had the responsibility to contribute to community share ownership schemes yet they were all represented when President (Robert) Mugabe launched the schemes.”

Kasukuwere is at the centre of a storm over allegations that he sold Mugabe a dummy regarding the so-called community share ownership trusts that have failed to get off the ground with companies now claiming they never committed to funding them

The Zanu PF minister, at the time the scheme was launched, claimed the companies had pledged $10 million each but it has since been revealed that the companies never omitted to such figures.

In a bid to show his innocence Kasukuwere produced letters that he claimed were signed by the company bosses but the letters have since been proved to be fake by new indigenisation minister Francis Nhema.

Source : New Zimbabwe