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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

  • Raising community voices - July 2013
    Centre for Research and Development
    July 19, 2013

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    Executive Summary

    The Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act of 2007 empowers the government of Zimbabwe to secure at least 51 percent of the shares of every public company or business for the benefit of the indigenous people of Zimbabwe. Ever since the promulgation of this act state functionaries have increasingly dominated the extractive sector by entering into secretive mining ventures with foreign entities much to the detriment of the general population naturally presumed to be the beneficiaries under this act. In Manicaland Province government through the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) has 100 percent shares in companies like Marange Resources and has also partnered with foreign companies to mine diamonds in Marange. These partnerships have largely brought the state security sector, highly placed political elites and foreign investors into the directorship of these mining ventures. As such there is increasing evidence of underground trade and unlimited personalisation of resource revenue by securocrats and accomplices loyal to the system.

    Government has on many occasions admitted to these anomalies through fiscal review polices and budget presentations by the Ministry of finance. The Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy in its recent presentation to Parliament confirmed that “diamond mining in Chiadzwa is dogged by serious issues of transparency and accountability in the production, marketing, fiscal contributions and general administration.”

    The murky situation in this sector has made it difficult for government to protect citizens from unfair business practices and human rights violations. In Marange for instance, mining companies have not only reneged on their commitment to remit funds to Community Ownership schemes set by government but they have also failed to carry out sustainable social corporate responsibilities for the mining community. On the other hand the state hastily facilitated massive relocations of villagers from Chiadzwa to Arda Transau in 2010 to pave way for these mining ventures to exploit the diamond resource with disastrous impacts on the social-economic lives of the affected families. Relocation commitments negotiated by the state on behalf of the relocated families in 2010 have been violated by some of the mining companies like Anjin and the state is increasingly failing to enforce compliance because they have entrenched interests in these projects vis- a- vis state functionaries including the security sector are directly benefiting from the mining ventures.

    05/04/2013 Morgan Mukono aged 30 years ID number 44-008356T44 of Biriri village in Chimanimani and his syndicate of illegal panners were severely assaulted by soldiers at the diamond base after they were rounded up at Masikati Ge Nyame diamond mining concession at 2.00pm of 5 May 2014. According to Morgan they were beaten more than fifty cuts each on the buttocks and where driven to Hot Springs around 6pm the same day where they were released. Morgan sustained deep cuts on the buttocks and he could not walk or sit for a week. 08/04/2013 Caleb Mtetwa ID number 13198502 X 13 aged 25 years of Gaza in Chipinge was caught by Anjin guards at Chirasika Anjin mining concession at 3.15 am and taken to their base at Anjin mining company. On arrival Caleb was tied to a pole and severely tortured and beaten under the feet the whole night. He was then taken to the diamond base where about fifteen soldiers took turns to beat him. He was later driven and dumped at Hot Springs road block by the police at 6pm the following day.

    In conclusion these mining ventures are failing to guarantee best practices that promote sustainable livelihoods for mining communities in Manicaland Province. As a result, the immediate impact on the communities has been that of economic deprivation, environmental deficits and fast tracked displacements that has made people restive and vulnerable. The illegal panning and smuggling of both diamonds and gold in protected mining concessions where these ventures are operating continue to bedevil the sector. Responses to these activities by mining companies in the eyes of government continue to be brutal and abusive. Mining corporations have a responsibility to respect human rights by taking the necessary measures to address issues affecting their mining operations within the confines of the country’s laws. However the greatest shortcoming here is government’s reluctance to restrain companies from perpetrating human rights violations against citizens yet it is the responsibility of government to protect and create an enabling environment where the rights of both mining companies and communities are upheld.

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