Compiled by Nyasha Chingono
Marange witnessed a diamond rush in 2006, its inhabitants dared to dream of a
two decades after the diamond rich soils were invaded by massive mining
companies, government and individuals looking to stick their fingers in the
honey pot, Marange is a trail of poverty.
drive along the vast swathes of the diamond rich planes of Marange, one is
greeted with deep despair. A community that never benefited from its vast
away in the city, the rich who plundered the resource, live large in opulence.
curse of owning rich minerals still haunts Marange years after big mining
consortiums descended on their land.
have nothing to show that we ever had diamonds here,” Clever Mupasi, 60, a
community elder in Marange said.
makes a cursory gaze across the vast swathes of land which have been reduced to
piles of sand and deep pits.
is what is left of our beautiful land. When diamond was discovered here, we
thought the future of our children was now set but we were wrong. We listened
to their lies and curse ourselves for ever believing in the capitalists,”
Mupasi said, gazing to the clear blue skies as if to summon divine
the government made it mandatory for mining companies operating in communities
to cede 10% to the community through the Community Share Ownership Trust, the
Marange community has not seen development in their land.
committing to uplifting livelihoods in Marange-Zimunya, Zimbabwe Consolidated
Diamond Company (ZCDC) is yet to implement meaningful projects in the area.
were sold a dummy. These empty promises continue to hurt our community, hope is
fading daily,” Moses Mhlanga, another community elder said.
are yet to get our share of the profit these companies have made from diamond
companies have left a trail of irreparable destruction while other diamond
companies continue to plunder the resources.
Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust (MZCSOT) was launched by the
late former President Robert Mugabe in 2011 with the goal of communities
benefiting from their resources.
years after the launch, people here are still clinging to hope for better
schools, health facilities and livelihoods.
poverty stalking the community following repeated droughts, the Marange
community is desperate for interventions. About 8 million Zimbabweans are facing
hunger this year, the World Food Programme (WFP) says.
a bid to help communities’ benefit from their resources, the Publish What You
Pay (PWYP) is pushing to influence mining revenue transparency and benefit
sharing in the extractives sector in Zimbabwe.
a report entitled Tracing the progress towards revenue transparency and revenue
sharing in the extractives sector in Zimbabwe (2013-2019), the advocacy
campaign seeks to help mining communities to realise benefits of the community
share ownership trusts some of which have either been forfeited by
PWYP Zimbabwe was birthed in the same year that government came up with regulations
for setting up mining community share ownership trusts.
campaign’s focus on mining transparency and accountability issues remains as
critical as ever. With a huge mineral wealth potential, mining could be
leveraged to support Zimbabwe’s economic recovery, stabilisation and growth
agenda,” reads the report.
the 2000 land reform, the mining sector has been one of the biggest
contributors to economic growth. The sector contributed US$2.9 billion,
accounting for 60% to country’s
export earnings in 2018.
employs around 35,000 people, of which 99% are indigenous Zimbabweans, an
average of 75% are from the local communities, and nearly 7% are female, the
the mining sector contributes immensely to economic growth, the community
should also benefit from the resources.
the right of communities to benefit from resources in their localities is
enshrined in the Zimbabwean Constitution.
to the report communities are unaware of how they should benefit from the
community share ownership trust, hence it is difficult for PWYP.
the ground, some service delivery points like schools and clinics are not aware
of how they are supposed to benefit from the revenue sharing arrangements
between central government and local governments. But a big challenge already
lies ahead for civil society, especially the PWYP campaign, to ensure
transparency, accountability and citizen participation in the management and
utilisation of devolution funds,” the report reads.
also laments the lack of clarity in the constitution on how communities can
access mining benefits. “Particularly PWYP members, have been pushing for
policy and practice reforms to improve the development impact of CSOT on LESD.
All this work has been precipitated by the government’s thrust to open the
mining sector for investment, taking a pro large-scale investor stance in the
process and disregarding the constitutional right of communities to benefit
from resources in their localities,” reads the report.
report notes that the mining sector transparency framework in Zimbabwe fails to
meet the bottom bar.
a result, citizens and civil society lack the information leverage to
effectively ask the government and corporates hard questions on how their
resources are managed to deliver an optimal national development dividend.
report notes that there is a need for robust advocacy to ensure that
community’s benefit from their resources and the creation of a transparent
environment by mining companies.