MUTARE, MANICALAND PROVINCE —
Nine family members from Odzi’s ARDA Transau, moved from Chiadzwa in 2010 to pave way for the government’s diamond mining activities, have been served with eviction orders from houses they moved into when they were forced to move out of the rich diamond belt.
The government now wants to offer their houses to local school teachers.
The Kambeni family seized teachers’ houses after failing to secure adequate housing for their huge family of 12 wives and over 35 children.
The diamond-mining companies failed to provide enough space for the family which contends that it had enough houses in Chiadzwa where they were forcibly moved.
The summons and eviction orders were served Monday. One of the wives, Phillipa Kambeni, told VOA Studio 7 that the family does not know what to do now following the eviction order.
She said this move is an indication that Anjin Investments of China, which forced them to leave their original homes, is failing to meet its obligations after promising them alternative resettlement land.
Anjin moved the villagers from Chiadzwa to ARDA Transau with the approval of the government.
Peggy Tavagadza, of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, who is representing the affected families, told Studio 7 she was busy preparing opposing papers ahead of the court day next week.
She argued that she will be able to block the evictions and force the company to provide alternative accommodation.
Lawmaker Batsirai Pemhenayi, who represents Mutare North constituency which incorporates Arda Transau, could not be reached for a comment.
The Minister of State for Manicaland Province, Mandi Chimene, said she has been informed of the development but was yet to visit ARDA Transau.
She told Studio 7 in Mutare that she was going to find out on her own what was going on.