George Maponga in Masvingo
Villagers in Ward 20 in Chivi Central over the weekend held a flash demonstration against diamond miner, Murowa Diamond Company,in yet another twist to the long-running feud over ongoing exploration in the area.
At the centre at the standoff between the villagers and the diamond miner is the latter’s continued presence at Danhamombe High School in the area where the company is camped.
Irate villagers want Murowa off the school premises and have escalated the matter demanding that the diamond company leave their ancestral land in Sese where exploration for gems has been going on since 2018.
Attempts by Government to appease the angry villagers by forming a multi-stakeholder committee to bring the warring parties together has apparently failed to achieve its goals according to villagers.
They allege promises made by Murowa have not yet been fulfilled hence flash protests to force the company to leave Sese.
Sese Community Trust Secretary Mr Musiiwa Musiiwa says they will not let Murowa enjoy peace until the company leaves their ancestral land.
He said the flash demonstration was intended to send a clear message to Murowa that the company was not welcome in Sese anymore.
“They are yet to fulfill promises they made before senior Government officials that they will decamp from Danhamombe High School and also drill boreholes and repair battered roads that were damaged by their heavy-duty exploration trucks,”said Mr Musiiwa.
He insinuated that villagers suspected that Murowa was only in Sese for speculative purposes after failing to stumble upon commercially exploitable gems.
Some of the placards have messages that blasted Murowa for causing unprecedented land degradation in Sese while other messages demanded that the miner leave Sese to allow villagers to enter into irrigation farming using Tugwi-Mukosi Dam water.
Some of the placards with messages berating Murowa were attached on trees along the Harare-Beitbridge highway while a few villagers carried the other placards around Sese business centre.
The villagers say they have resorted to flash demonstrations against Murowa so that they don’t fall foul of Covid-19 regulations which outlaw big gatherings.