Marange villagers have lost confidence with their Community Based Organisation (CBO) leader who is reportedly receiving bribes from the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) and influencing police to block demonstration from the villagers against the mining company.
A source on Tuesday told The Zimbabwe Morning Post that Lovemore Mukwada, the board chairman of the Bocha Diamond Development Committee was being bribed by ZCDC in order to block villagers to demonstrate against the diamond mining company over under development and the non fulfillment of promises made by the company.
Our source further revealed that Mukwada was working closely with the feared members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operatives and police to block the intentions of villagers to demonstrate.
Last week, the villagers wrote a letter to Marange police seeking clearance to demonstrate against the company’s failure to give jobs to locals, but the notification was shot down by the police arguing that
Mukwada who represents the villagers had not sanctioned the demonstration.
Asked for a comment, Mukwada admitted that he was aware of the letter written by the villagers to the police, but said he was against the procedure that was taken by the villagers.
“I am not receiving anything (bribes) from ZCDC. It’s not true what they (villagers) are saying. We did not stop the demonstration, but we were not satisfied with procedures and processes they took when they
applied for the demonstration,” he said.
“There were traditional leaders who were mobilised to demonstrate against the company. But, the traditional leaders are part of the government and they should not demonstrate against a government owned company,” said Mkwada.
The Zimbabwe Morning Post is in possession of letter dated May 07 2019, signed by Marange Officer In Charge one Inspector Ruzungunde, turning down the demonstration.
“Marange community conveners did not agree on the authentication of the document. Upon inquiry with one of the conveners, Headman Chipindurwe, showed great surprise over the matter, as he was not aware of the demonstration and authorship of the notification,” reads the letter.
“In view of this, it is difficult to further process the notification,” added the letter. However, a lawyer Brian Majamanda, who is representing the affected villagers accused the police of misleading the villagers over the matter.
“I have never seen such liars like the police l encountered in Marange. We phoned Headman Chipindurwe and he said he was very aware of the demonstration,” he said. Majamanda gave a hint that they were approaching the High Court to proceed with the demonstration.
Surprisingly, Headman Chipindurwe through his aide, Mabasa Chibham, said he did not block the demonstration, as alluded to by the police.
“The Headman (Chipindurwe) approved the demonstration. What Mukwada and the police are saying is not true. This was a non-violent, but peaceful demonstration. We want development in our area, good roads and employment among other areas,” he said.
ZCDC chief executive officer Morris Mpofu said he was not aware of the allegations levelled against his company.
“I am not aware of that. As ZCDC, we don’t bribe anyone. We want to maintain our integrity,” he said.