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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • Marange, Chiadzwa and other diamond fields and the Kimberley Process - Index of articles

  • Centre for Research and Development (CRD) employees in hiding following CIO crack down
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
    May 28, 2010

    On Thursday 27th May 2010, eight police officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and four operatives from the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) raided offices belonging to the diamond watchdog based in Mutare, Centre for Research and Development (CRD). The raid comes after four plain clothed CID officers had visited the offices on the 13th of May in connection with an article published on-line by the Zimbabwe Situation on the 14th of May 2010 entitled "2000 carats of diamond smuggled out of Chiadzwa per day". The article was based on a CRD report of alleged abuses and illegal activities taking place in Marange.

    According to eyewitnesses, on the 13th of May four plain clothed CIO operatives came to the offices looking for CRD employees but the offices were closed. The operatives then interrogated the security guard responsible for the building over the activities carried out by the organisation but he refused to comment and advised them to come back the following Monday when the offices would be open.

    In a follow-up, two plain clothed CIO operatives came to the offices and spoke to a senior employee of the CRD. The operatives claimed that the CRD had produced a documentary that had been aired on SABC3 and were intending to produce another documentary. They went on to ask for CRDs company profile and information on the operations of the organisation.

    On Tuesday 25th May 2010, the Director of the CRD Farai Muguwu, held a meeting with Kimberly Process Certification Scheme Monitor (KPCS) Abbey Chikane on the presence of military personnel at Chiadzwa, smuggling and illegal trading and mining taking place at the claim. Following this meeting, on the 27th of May, around 8am one CIO operative came to the offices looking for the director and another employee and was informed that they were not at the offices but would come in later. The operative promised to come back around 10am the same day.

    Just after 10am about eight CID officers and four CIO operatives all in plain clothes and from Nyanga came to the offices. The security guard alerted the staff members of CRD of their presence. One senior employee whom the police were looking for came to the offices as the police were approaching the building and took him to Mutare Police Station where he was detained for about 9 hours before being released without any charge.

    The Coalition believes the unwarranted harassment and interference by the police and CIO operatives has to do with the abuses, smuggling and other illegal activities taking place in Marange. The Coalition applauds the CRD for revealing such information and especially to Kimberly Process Scheme Monitor (KPCS) before the meeting scheduled for Tel Aviv in Israel in a month's time.

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