Women in Mining are demanding that the government includes them in diamond exploration in Chiadzwa.
The major beneficiaries of diamond mining activities since the discovery of massive gem deposits some five years ago have been the Chinese and members of the armed forces – key allies of President Robert Mugabe.
Christina Matika, vice president of Women in Mining, whose members include ambitious women in small to medium mining enterprises, said in a recent interviewthat the group’s appeals to government had fallen on deaf ears. “We want a share not only at Chiadzwa but in all sectors of the economy. We have approached government through tendering our applications but have heard nothing so far,” said Matika.
Despite relative progress in opening up the controversial Chiadzwa diamond fields recently, the composition of mining entities currently in business has been a thorny issue amid fears that Zanu(PF) heavies are siphoning off diamond revenue.
Mbada Diamonds, Anjin, Pure Dime, Marange Resources and Sino Zimbabwe are the only companies involved in mining alluvial diamonds in Chiadzwa.
Women in Mining say government if it is serious about empowering the people, it must allocate some concessions to women.
“If we cannot have concessions then the government should ensure that proceeds from diamonds are allocated to the development of women’s projects in Mutare first, where the resource is being mined, and then throughout the country, “she said.