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  • Marange, Chiadzwa and other diamond fields and the Kimberley Process - Index of articles

  • CNRG: Mbada diamonds cup: fame or shame
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
    October 15, 2013

    View this article on the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition website

    Centre for Natural Resource Governance is deeply concerned with the splashing of cash towards football by Mbada Diamonds when thousands of people removed from Marange as a result of its operations are living in abject poverty. Mbada Diamonds has been sponsoring Mbada Diamonds Cup for three consecutive years. In the 2013 edition the diamond mining giant increased their sponsorship to a whooping one million United States dollars, the biggest sponsorship amount in Zimbabwe’s football history.

    As of April 2013 Mbada Diamonds had only managed to complete 100 housing units out of a projected 487 housing units for the relocation of families affected by its housing operations. Mbada Diamonds, along with all the other mining companies in Marange, has refused to compensate the families forcibly relocated from Marange to Arda Transau, a government-owned farm located about 40km north of Marange. These families have been resettled on 1-hectare plots with no additional land for crop cultivation.

    Recent visits to Arda Transau by Centre for Natural Resources Governance and Chiadzwa Community Development Trust revealed shocking levels of starvation. Women and children have turned to cutting firewood and grass for sale at Odzi Business centre, about 9km from Arda Transau, for subsistence. There is no source of employment at Arda Transau. The primary school at Arda Transau is incomplete and poorly resourced whilst there is no accommodation for teachers at the school.

    Against this backdrop, it is shocking to see Mbada diamonds splashing a million dollars towards football as part of Corporate Social Responsibility programme while neglecting to pay the debt they owe the displaced and distressed Marange community. It is thus befitting to call Mbada Diamonds Cup a Cup of Shame. Whilst football coaches, players and fans will celebrate every goal scored and their victories in the tournament, it must be known that the real losers in the tournament are not the losing football teams but the people of Marange whose poverty and misery is making the tournament possible.

    CNRG wishes to remind Mbada Diamonds that charity begins at home. Having poured over 2 million dollars into football over the past 3 years, Mbada Diamonds has no excuse for not compensating Marange villagers for displacing them from their ancestral homes.

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