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22 Mar 2022

Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) & Anjin Investments still to compensate victims of Marange violations; we requested companies to respond, they did not

‘The Unending Curse Of Marange Diamonds’ 2 March 2022

FAMILIES displaced by diamond mining and those living close to Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond fields continue to sink deeper into poverty as the curse of the controversial gems persists. Diamonds were discovered in Marange, eastern Zimbabwe, in 2006, but more than a decade after formal mining started, thousands of people in the vicinity of diamond fields are living miserably, as fields have become an outpost of human rights violations, according to various reports. “Life is tough here at ARDA Transau,” Donald Masvaure, who was forcibly relocated from Marange to a deserted government farm a few kilometres west of the eastern border city of Mutare, told FairPlanet. In 2010, more than 1,000 families were relocated to Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) Transau to make way for formal diamond mining.

… The government took over all diamond mining in Marange through a state-owned company, the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC). But in 2019, only Anjin Investments was allowed to resume mining operations in Marange under controversial circumstances. “We were promised compensation and title deeds to our new houses by the diamond companies; all these promises never materialised. Many people are now abandoning their homes here at ARDA Transau,” said Masvaure, who chairs the ARDA Transau Relocation Development Trust. Some of the houses at ARDA Transau were poorly built and gapping cracks could be seen tearing through the bright yellow painted walls.

… Firstly, Merket said, those who continue to commit abuses in Marange, such as public or private security torturing entities that sometimes even kill locals, tend to do so with complete impunity. “As long as there is no accountability – these atrocities will continue. The international governmental and business community should therefore use their leverage to push for holding perpetrators accountable. “This goes particularly for the United Arab Emirates and the European Union, where most of these diamonds make their first stop on the way to the market, and India, where the bulk of Zimbabwean stones are cut and polished,” he said.