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24 Aug 2016

Centre for Research & Development (Zimbabwe)

Zimbabwe: NGO says closure of diamond mines and take over by govt. has left communities worse off

The government shut down mining operations of 7 diamond companies in Manicaland Province in February 2016 because their operations lacked transparency and accountability...[and]merged diamond companies into the newly formed Zimbabwe Consolidation Diamond Company (ZCDC)..Responding to the shutdown, the Centre for Research and Development (CRD) [urged] government to undertake due diligence processes before commencement of ZCDC mining operations...[Findings of the CRD report include:] Victims of diamond mining induced displacements...had hoped that ZCDC would engage them in order to address grievances they had with former mining companies. The government was in complicity with former mining companies by failing to protect community rights in diamond mining communities in the region...[A displaced villager said] "We were cheated out of Marange diamond fields. I don’t think we will ever be compensated. We are worse off than prisoners here..."...[Another villager said] “We know longer have enough pastures for our livestock. Most of the land has been taken by mining companies. Our water is polluted and we have lost thousands of cattle from drinking contaminated water. We face harassment and abuses from state security raids in our communities”.