Mergers in Zimbabwe’s Diamond Sector set to Evade Human Rights due Diligence
The mining of diamonds in Zimbabwe had been operating at a minimum level before the commencement of large scale alluvial diamond mining in Marange in 2010. According to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) unpublished figures quoted in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report (2009), commercial diamond exports from Zimbabwe were paid 1.7 million in 2000 increasing to a peak of 44 million in 2005 before halving to 22.6 million in 2008. Significant contributions to diamond exports during this period came from Murowa Diamonds whose kimberlitic diamonds earned an average value of $65 per carat on the international market (UNDP 2009). Alluvial diamond mining in Marange started at the backdrop of a violent and brutal military operation that elbowed out thousands of artisanal miners who had besieged the diamond fields in 2006 following the invalidation of Africa Consolidated Resources (ACR) mining claims by government. The executive arm of government rewarded state security organs for their role in the infamous operation Hakudzokwi with shares in mining companies that were granted mining contracts in Marange. Mining operations by these companies namely Anjin, Mbada diamonds, Marange Resources, Diamond Mining Company (DMC), Jinan, Gye Nyame, and Kusena diamonds have remained secretive over the years with government receiving insignificant revenues in spite of being the major shareholder.