BY KENNETH NYANGANI
A CHINESE diamond mining company has finally exhumed the bodies of 63 Chiadzwa villagers buried within its mining fields and reburied them far from its operating area.
Chiadzwa villagers last week demonstrated against Jinan Mining Company’s for allegedly desecrating their relatives’ graves and throwing them into slime dams.
The exhumation process was carried on Monday and Tuesday this week amid continued demonstrations by some villagers who were alleging that the company was giving them a raw deal.
However, villagers in Tonhorai area where the exercise was taking place told NewsDay that they were not happy with the $300 they were offered as compensation for relocating the bodies of their deceased relatives.
They claimed that other mining companies such as Mbada Diamonds offered villagers over $1 000 for relocating each grave. According to the villagers, Jinan was initially offering $700 for the relocation of each grave.
Marange pressure group B-Mend secretary-general Farai Kushata claimed the workers exhumed the bodies without proper protective clothing.
Jinan deputy managing director, Tapiwa Goronga refused to comment over the matter, but reportedly told the villagers that they will be paid their money next month.
Headman Robert Chiadzwa said he was not happy at the level of development in Marange.
“We welcome the process, but we are not happy because things are being imposed by diamond mining companies. We need clinics, schools, good shops, we are no longer worried with tarmac roads here because we know they will come and mine the roads,’’ he said.
On Monday, a Chiadzwa family only identified as Masikati stopped an excavator which was preparing 400 graves for reburial near their homestead. Three of the family members were arrested for stopping the exercise.