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MP bulldozes into US$1,2m community funds

TRADITIONAL leaders in Marange have accused Zanu PF Mutare West legislator Nyasha Marange of allegedly demanding total control of US$1,2m disbursed to the Chiadzwa Community Ownership Trust.

 The lawmaker is also accused of sidelining fellow Members of Parliament from Mutare North and Mutare South whose constituencies are supposed to benefit from the funds.

According to traditional leaders, Marange has reportedly imposed himself as the manager of the funds with reports that there is serious infighting over the funds.

Several villagers who were relocated to Arda Transau in Odzi from Chiadzwa in 2010 to pave way for diamond mining operations are also demanding a share of the funds.

A village head who declined to be named said they were up in arms over Marange’s interference, adding that they had since approached higher offices to deal with the issue.

 “How can the MP demand all the US$1,2 million? He is using political muscle. He says he is close to President Emmerson Mnangagwa hence [he is] untouchable,” he said.

“We have Mutare North where there are relocated villagers in Odzi and we have Mutare South which should also benefit because it is part of the trust. Mutare West MP Nyasha Marange is saying only his constituency should benefit, we are told that they might be sharing the money with some individuals who are demanding to be signatories.”

Recently, Marange was reprimanded in public by First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa at Mutare Showgrounds after he was accused of name-dropping President Mnangagwa in his dealings.

In an interview with NewsDay, Marange dismissed the allegations saying they were meant to tarnish his image.

“Yes, there is US$1,2 million which is meant for the Chiadzwa Community Ownership Trust and all the three constituencies will benefit that is Mutare West, North and South, respectively.  I know there are people who want to tarnish my image,” Marange said.

“No one will be left behind; every constituency will see boreholes being drilled.”

 The Chiadzwa Community Development Trust works with and supports communities that are affected by diamond mining in the Marange area.

It assists the community in realising its economic, social, and cultural rights.

Some examples of these activities include rebuilding and relocating community graves and protecting the Marange community’s cultural shrines among other projects.



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