Thousands of families could be relocated from Penhalonga, just outside Mutare amid claims that rich diamond deposits have been discovered in the area, although the government is dampening expectations.
This comes as production at the Marange diamond fields also in Manicaland, has plummeted to all-time low due to the government’s ill advised move to grab the operations of mining firms there.
Meanwhile, the forceful removal of Mbada Diamonds’ security personnel in the Chiadzwa diamond mining fields has resulted in thousands of artisanal miners besieging the area while alleged theft of diamond ore by the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company (ZCDC) escalated, the court has been told.
Thousands of illegal diamond miners, who were evicted from the mining concessions about a decade ago, have since returned to Chiadzwa, raising fears the government could once again be losing millions of dollars in revenue, as uncontrolled mining activities have reappeared due to lack of security.
This was revealed in an urgent chamber application filed by Mbada Diamonds’ security manager Donald Dube, who approached the High Court on Monday this week, seeking enforcement of the order granted in favour of Grandwell Holdings on February 24 this year to allow its subsidiary, Mbada Diamonds’ security personnel to be back in the area and protect the “red zone” for its interest.
“Following the forceful removal of the third respondent’s (Mbada diamonds) security personnel, artisanal miners descended on Chiadzwa.
There is uncontrolled theft of diamond ore, diamonds and other property taking place. About a thousand artisanal miners descended on Chiadzwa and; illegal activities on the same scale as were witnessed prior to the organised mining by third respondent and others (disbanded diamond companies) have returned to Chiadzwa,” Dube said in his founding affidavit.