Chiadzwa Community Development Trust (CCDT) acting chairman Malvern Mudiwa last week said scores of employees suspected of not supporting Zanu PF were dismissed from work or failed to find jobs at the diamond fields.
The accusations fly in the face of Mbada’s pledge early this month that the company would employ at least one person from all the families that face relocation from the area as a result of its mining operations.
Mudiwa said the company had since reneged on the agreement and was now working in cahoots with some Zanu PF leaders in the province to accommodate their party supporters.
He said Mbada had made the undertaking at a meeting attended by a local councillor identified as Kusena, headman Mukwada, the company’s representatives and himself.
“Our main concern was the 66 families directly affected by mining operations,” said Mudiwa. “So we agreed that at least one family member should get a job but they are being fired and replaced by Zanu PF functionaries without compensation.”
Mudiwa claimed that Chief Marange recently brought in at least 16 people for employment while four women from Mukwada village, suspected to be supporters of the MDC, were fired and told to bring letters from their headman.
Efforts to contact Chief Marange were fruitless.
Mudiwa said even senior politicians (names supplied) from the province were bringing their relatives and friends from other districts for employment at the expense of the affected villagers.
“It is double tragedy for the affected villagers,” he said. “Firstly, they are being forced to relocate and secondly they are being denied a chance to work in the land of their birth to accommodate foreigners.”
But a senior official with Mbada, Paul Mutuzu on Friday dismissed all the accusations.
He said the company had employed many affected villagers at the diamond fields.
“That’s not true at all,” said Mutuzu. “I don’t have the figures with me here because I am driving from Mutare.
“Let me phone our mine manager (Gerald Sithole) and I will come back to you.”
Efforts to get Mutuzu on his mobile phone later were fruitless as he was not answering calls on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.
MURKY ORIGINS OF MBADA DIAMONDS
Mbada Diamonds is one of the companies that were clandestinely awarded mining rights at Chiadzwa by President Robert Mugabe’s government.
It is chaired by Robert Mhlanga, a retired Zimbabwe Air Force Vice-Marshal and Chief of Staff and close confidant of the First Family.
During his time in the army, he was Mugabe’s personal pilot.
He was a prosecution witness at Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s treason trial where the MDC leader was accused of plotting to assassinate Mugabe.
Mbada Diamonds caused a furore last year after it flew over 300 000 carats of diamonds to Harare International Airport from Chiadzwa without police supervision.
The company intended to auction the gems but the sale was stopped at the last minute.