Article by Mufute Tawanda (Atrdt)
the first time in 9 years Arda Transau Relocation Development Trust (ATRDT) was
invited to a round table dialogue with all key stakeholders by the Mutare
District Administrator. The meeting was attended by different stakeholders
namely, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, Zimbabwe National Water
Authority, Mutare Rural District Council, Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company,
Office of the President and Cabinet, Ward 3 Councilor (Mutare North) Arda
Transau Relocation Development Trust representatives. The round table dialogue’s
objective was to discuss the welfare of Arda Transau community.
office of the District Administrator brought three issues on the agenda namely
houses by homeless relocated families (2016)
Arda Transau Relocation Development Trust representatives
gave an overview of the state of water in Arda Transau where they cited that
the Anjin and Jinan families are failing to pay for the services they are
getting from ZINWA and ZESA since no livelihood projects were availed to them. ATRDT also pointed out that most drilled
boreholes in the area were condemned, not safe for human consumption while only
four boreholes out of 45 have clean and safe water.
from ZINWA presented their operational budget challenges they are facing in
Arda Transau. ZINWA cited that they use chemicals worth $5850 per month and
highlighted that only 21 accounts are fully paid up in Arda Transau. ZINWA also
cited that Anjin mining company owes them $301 332, 01 and the communities owe $143 434 32 as of September 26, 2019.
highlighted that they made an agreement with ZESA to clear the electricity
bills owed to them by communities. ZCDC apologized to the participants and
highlighted that they were paying the bills to the wrong account resulting in
ZESA disconnecting the supply.
Community representatives thanked ZCDC for the gesture and went on to ask them
several questions including on whether, it was not their responsibility to
provide adequate services to the communities since they inherited the mining concessions
from former mining companies who are no longer there. They also asked the
office of the District Administrator to avail information pertaining agreements
made between Anjin company, Government and
ZINWA on how the water system in Arda was going to be managed, a Relocation
Development Plan and the Environmental
Impact Assessment used in relocating families from Marange to determine who
should do what and when.
District Administrator responded to the request made stating that he never came
across those documents requested hence leaving the issue hanging. ZCDC refused
to accept responsibilities and cited that it was out of their good will to pay
for electricity bills and also said they can only help when funds are
available. This statement left community members with questions on whether
ZCDC is sincere when it claims that it cares for the community when they are
failing to provide services to the same.
District Administrator brought the issue of invaded houses to the discussion where
he said, the families should vacate the houses with immediate effect. The
office of the President and ZCDC were in support of this motion. It took time
for the parties to understand the issue and it was after a community
representative explained the circumstances that led to the families to occupy
the houses after six years of being homeless. ATRDT advised the District Administrator to
revisit relocation registers and allocates houses to disadvantaged families.
stakeholders agreed on the following;
Transau Relocation Development Trust to furnish again the District
Administrators office with the list of families who occupied houses
the verification of occupants, the District Administrator is to hand over the
houses officially to the disadvantaged families
to renovate the houses whilst the occupants are in the houses