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Human rights abuses resurface in Chiadzwa

by Staff reporter
21 Oct 2022 at 06:06hrs | Views
Human rights abuses have resurfaced in the volatile Marange diamond fields in Chiadzwa, Manicaland province, jolting government to dispatch high-ranking officials and State security agents to ease tensions.

A highly secretive security indaba was held in Harare last week where Marange villagers, civil society organisations and other stakeholders raised concern over alleged renewed human rights violations being perpetrated by State security agents in the diamond-rich area.

The meeting was attended by Mines and Mining Development minister Winston Chitando, State security agents and Marange diamond mining companies, among other stakeholders.

Another meeting is scheduled for today at headman Robert Chiadzwa's homestead where security chiefs in Marange will meet traditional leaders and affected villagers.

Headman Robert Chiadzwa's aide Shadreck Chipise confirmed the meeting.

 "Yes we are going to have a security meeting with government security and another with Chitando next week on October 26 at headman Chiadzwa's place over an upsurge in human rights abuses," Chipise said.

Village head Tinoengana Chiadzwa yesterday narrated his ordeal at the hands of security agents in Chiadzwa.

''l was arrested at Pachimogora shops in ward 29, Mutare West constituency. I was told to lie down and was handcuffed by the security agents. l was taken to their security base and they threatened to assault me and other villagers.  It was so humiliating for me as a traditional leader," he said.

 Centre for Research and Development director James Mupfumi yesterday said villagers in Marange were being subjected to martial law.

"Almost 26 000 people living in diamond protected areas are subjected to martial law that is administered by State security forces who are not accountable," Mupfumi said.

He said the Protected Areas Act must be aligned with the Constitution to include respect for fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens.

Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he was not aware of the issue, while national army spokesperson Alfios Makotore also denied knowledge of the human rights abuses.

Efforts to get a comment from Chitando were fruitless.

Source - Newsday Zimbabwe