MARANGE: WHERE IT ALL BEGAN, WHERE THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES

MARANGE: WHERE IT ALL BEGAN, WHERE THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES

02 November 2016  Yesterday, 1 November 2016, more than 500 people gathered together in Marange, a vast diamond field stretching over 66,000 hectares in the east of Zimbabwe, near to the Mozambican border, to remember all those who lost their lives, lands and livelihoods in one among the saddest page of post-independence Zimbabwean history. Operation Hakudzokwi (in English: You Shall Not Return!) was a security crackdown conducted by the Zimbabwean army in late 2008, right after the discovery of rich diamond deposits in Chiadzwa, Marange, which led to the killing of over 400 artisanal miners, unleashed brutal violence against their women and children, forced families to be evicted from their ancestors lands and relocated away from their homes, disrupting their sense of belonging and depriving them of their traditional sources of livelihoods. In this way, the government seized Marange diamond field, and secure the control of its rich soil in the hands of the military which, since then, has conducted secretive and opaque deals with Chinese mining firms, looting local communities of their richness and ensuring little or no revenues to the State coffers. 8 years later, people are still suffering, they have been left with nothing and their demands for justice and compensation are still unaddressed. Impunity remains unrestrained and almost no one has been held accountable for the appalling human rights abuses which took place in Marange so far; misbehaviours and negligence from companies still continue today and are likely to continue for the rest of the mining lifecycle. Operation Hakudzokwi Commemoration, organised by Centre for Natural Resource Governance and Chiadzwa Community Development Trust, was primarily meant...