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800 Displaced Chiadzwa Families Fight for Survival

  • Loirdham Moyo

The Kambeni family’s fortunes have dramatically changed following their relocation to ARDA Transau Estate in February 2011 from their roots in the diamond-rich Chiadzwa community in Manicaland province.

Life has been tough - promises of a new home and compensation have not been fulfilled.

The Chinese-owned diamond mining company, Anjin investments, which is in a joint venture with the government, is accused by many in this community of reneging on promises to ensure families uprooted from the rich alluvial diamond fields have a good and stable life.

The 14-member Kambeni family still stays in a crowded compound. Children are out of school and food is scarce.

Eighty-nine year-old Philimon Johwani Kaiboni Kambeni is struggling with his health and has lost speech in the process.

His two wives, Miriam and Idah, face huge challenges as they try to fend for the family, away from a community they have known for years. Since being moved from Chiadzwa, life has never been the same.

Malvern Mudiwa of the Chiadzwa Community Development Trust said most of the houses built by Chinese firm, Anjin Investments, for part of the 800 families displaced from the Marange diamond fields are already crumbling.

Mr. Mudiwa said the displaced families are currently trapped in a poverty cycle without the promised jobs, irrigation schemes, schools and land for subsistence farming.

And Sally Nobuhle Mlambo of the Platform for Youth Development said the majority of displaced families’ children are not attending school due to lack of money to pay fees and lack of proper school structures.

Government officials and Anjin company management were not reachable for comment.