Marange villagers who on Monday demonstrated against human rights abuses and the looting of the country’s diamond revenue have vowed to continue with demonstrations until Government address their grievances.
Marange Development Trust (MDT) Chairperson, Malvern Mudiwa said demonstrations would continue until an agreement is reached through a roundtable discussion with the mining company management.
He also raised a red flag on the restriction of human movement which has resulted in many people being shot and beaten to death even without committing crimes.
The protesters gathered near the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) site, where they were later engaged in running battles with the police.
However, the group has since dispersed citing more demonstrations to come if Government fails to meet their concerns
There were no major injuries reported. Police fired tear gas and threatening to unleash vicious dogs on the protesters. However, the only concern has been two minors who were taken to hospital after they collapsed when they inhaled the tear gas.
ZCDC is a Government entity created after the closure of diamond operations in the area and the cancellation of licences for diamond miners – many of whom were Chinese nationals accused of milking the area.
Armed with placards inscribed “No to Displacement, Our Lives are More Precious than Diamonds”, the protesting villagers marched from Chipindirwe to Zengeni.
Protesters set alight a bus belonging to the diamond mine. However, their attempts to march into the ZCDC mining area were, however, thwarted by the police and army.
In an interview with a local newspaper, ZCDC Head of Public Relations, Sugar Chagonda said the demos were politically motivated.
Human rights activists and Centre for Natural Resource Governance director Farai Maguwu applauded the Marange people for standing up to ZCDC saying the demands of the community are profound and straightforward.