16 May 2022
Compiled by Josphat Makaza- Chiadzwa Community Development Trust
In 2020 Alrosa Zimbabwe engaged the local leadership in ward 24 with the intention of mining diamonds. The officials met with a few individuals who granted the mine a social licence to operate. They informed the community representatives that there are diamonds in ward 24 and 25 and operations were set to start in January 2021. The community offered the school infrastructure to the mine in exchange for job promises.
When ZELA trained community environmental monitors got the news that the traditional leaders had offered the school boreholes, houses as accommodation, and a clinic to the mine they opposed the process of granting a social license to Alrosa Zimbabwe.
The community-engaged the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) and was informed that the mining company was not formally registered with the institution. The monitors engaged the Rural District Council(RDC) and the local councilor. They explained that Alrosa was not registered with the RDC. At Zimbabwe Republic Police Marange the monitors were informed that the officials had informed them and expressed their intention to commence diamond mining.
The monitors made a report to the ZELA litigation unit. Several training sessions were conducted at St Andrews Mission on EIAs, Community Participation, Business, and Human Rights. In November 2021 following training by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association on EIAs and community participation the community monitors with the local councilor phoned Alrosa Zimbabwe officials to inform them that the entire community was opposing the granting of the social licence to operate by the local leaders in ward 24. The community said important stakeholders, the community, and school authorities were not consulted.
The community now expects a participatory community engagement process which they argue will get to show if Alrosa is a responsible investor.