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                          CRD PRESS STATEMENTS
 

16 March 2017 It is state capture, not death of diamond industry.                                                              One of the most heinous economic crimes in the history of Zimbabwe is the Marange diamond plunder. President Mugabe partitioned an estimated 60 000 hectares of Marange diamond field to securocrats  loyal to his ZANU PF political party in mining ventures with foreign entities  in 2009. The decision followed a ruthless military operation to capture the diamond field from artisanal miners who had besieged the area to pan for diamonds in 2007.Under the disguise of busting economic sanctions Marange diamond mining was exonerated from public scrutiny by the Mugabe administration.       read more

 

9 February 2017   Lack of transparency and accountability in diamond consolidation breeding lawlessness in Marange Diamond Fields.                                                                                                                         The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) raised concern over the failure by the diamond sector to contribute meaningfully to the development of the economy in its January 2016 monetary policy. Thus the RBZ in liaison with Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) and ministry of mines vowed to account for all diamond export sales in a transparent manner similar to gold under fidelity printers according to Dr John Mangudya, RBZ governor. read more

 
2 December 2016 Press Statement by Mutare Civil Society on pending forced evictions by ZCDC in Chiadzwa
We the undersigned note with concern the following:
.That industrial diamond mining in Chiadzwa has led to the displacement on people in Marange since 2009, (Hansard report, October 2016)
.Evictees to date are over 1300 families (7000 people are affected),
.Between 2014 and 2015, there was acknowledgement of fiscal leakages, illicit financial flows, massive corruption, lack of fiscal transparency resulting in the establishment of the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) in 2016,
.That previous evictions and relocation of villagers have been accompanied by opaque compensation arrangements, and serious disruptions of affected villagers’ livelihoods and way of life. read more
 
23 June 2016 CRD Press Statement on ZCDC mining operations.
The government’s turn around strategy in the diamond sector was marked by arbitrary seizures of diamond mining companies in Marange and immediate operationalisation of Zimbabwe Consolidation Diamond Company (ZCDC) in February 2016.Depite endless calls for government to engage other stakeholders such as mining communities, business and civil society and under take due diligence processes before consolidating mining companies, government instead chose to do it alone with mines minister Chidhakwa reassuring the nation that he had done his homework and that diamond mergers were going to be successful. The 90 days ultimatum given to mining companies by government to remove their mining equipment have since passed whilst government is embroiled in battles with Mbada, Anjin and Jinan over control of Marange diamonds.
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14 March 2016 Authors’ perspectives on recent mining seizures in Marange.
Dr Masiya (Post Doctoral Research Fellow Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery Human Science Reseach Council Cape Town)
“Seizure of Marange Diamonds mining by the state”
“The takeover of mining by the state is also questionable in that, in the last twenty years or so, the government has not managed to profitably run any public enterprises. In fact giant state enterprises have collapsed. It is unlikely that it will miraculously run the diamond mines. In fact there are strong signals that the influx of artisanal miners is back in the diamond fields following the state takeover. In response, the state is likely to increase police and military presence and with it, a new wave of human rights abuses.
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26 February 2016 Press Statement by the CRD on the closure of diamond operations.
The Centre for Research and Development is following with keen interest the order made by the ministry of mines yesterday that mining companies must cease all mining operation.Diamond mining operations in Marange have been a site of lack of transparency and accountability since commencement of mining operations in 2008.Opaque mining practices have deeply impoverished local communities whilst pillaging the country’s natural resource for individual gain.It is against this background that government has decided to centralise its oversight in the exploitation of diamonds by merging all diamond players in the newly formed Zimbabwe Consolidation Diamond Company(ZCDC).The CRD is however concerned that government has already started the consolidation process without undertaking due diligence processes that would have forced mining companies to account for economic plunder of Zimbabwe’s diamonds. We are deeply concerned that prior to the merger, government has not instituted independent audits on all mining operations in Marange where government is a major shareholder. read more
 
6 February 2016 Government laxity over the deteriorating state of affairs in the diamond mining operations in Manicaland Province raises eyebrows.
The Centre for Research and Development is deeply concerned at the level of deterioration that has become of the diamond industry of Manicaland Province where the government has been an active partner since commencement of formal mining operations in 2009.Events in the last 7 months have seen massive job losses, arbitrary salary cuts and employees working without salaries in Marange diamond mining operations. Many of the retrenched workers have not yet received their severance packages. Faced with mounting salary arrears and the dangers of labour court challenges from their employees some mining companies have reportedly duped workers to sign “statement of account arrears” documents to ensure that workers continue to provide labour without salaries.
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23 October 2015 CRD's Response to Chidakwa's statement at the mining indaba
The recent statement by mines and mining development minister Chidhakwa that mining companies are resisting consolidation and that they misrepresented their investment plans to government is frivolous and cannot be accepted as an explanation for government failure to transform the diamond industry.The government of Zimbabwe adopted the Zimbabwe Diamond policy in june 2014 in order to close existing policy gaps and regulate the diamond industry.The diamond policy provided the framework for the development of the diamond act to legally effect reforms in the sector. Three years have passed since the adoption of the diamond policy but no diamond act has been availed by the ministry of mines.If it had been enacted the diamond act would have adequately dealt with issues of accountability, contracting, marketing, revenue disclosure, security, local beneficiation among other issues.The move by Chidhakwa to merge mining companies in the absence of a legislative diamond policy framework is like putting the cart before the horse. It is also disturbing to note Chidhakwa is giving more priority to mergers without overhauling the mines and minerals act to improve on transparency and accountability in the mining industry.
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13 February 2015 The CRD response to Vice President PhelekezelaMphoko’s call for lifting of ban on River bed mining in Mutare River.

Insinuations recently made by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko and Minister of State for Manicaland Province Mandi Chimene that DTZ-OZGEO Mining operations must resume in Mutare River are regrettable, self centred and illegal. By its nature river bed mining is unsustainable because it has catastrophic effects on the environment. DTZ-OZGEO mining operations have destroyed Mutare River and degraded agricultural land at Premier yet the community has largely remained alienated from the benefits accrued from the mining project over the years. The failure by DTZ-OZGEO to account for environmental damage in Mutare River was inevitable because of the prohibitive cost associated with rehabilitating a riverbed where large scale alluvial mining operations have been undertaken. The Centre for Research and Development is on record for fighting against river bed mining in Zimbabwe.read more

 

4 November 2014 MANICALAND PROVINCIAL CIVIL SOCIETY DIALOGUE ON DIAMONDS IN PREPARATION FOR THE ZIMBABWE DIAMOND CONFERENCE
The potential of diamonds in Marange to accrue the much needed revenue that could resuscitate the ailing Zimbabwe economy and uplift the living standards of vulnerable communities has not materialized due to lack of transparency in the allocation of mining rights, beneficial ownership, opaque financial terms of joint ventures coupled with diamond leakages.

The first quarter of 2014 saw Zimbabwe earning 99 million out of the 1 342 000 carats of Marange Diamonds sold in Antwerp and Dubai respectively. Of the two diamond sales in Antwerp government got a paltry 10.4million out of 69 million dollars of revenue generated according to official sources. In his own words after this sale minister Chidhakwa said that: I quote “given the tokenistic payments made to treasury since operations in Marange commenced, it is evident that there is something terribly wrong either with the way the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority is operating or the way mining contracts are negotiated.
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23 September 2014 Press Statement: Centre for Research and Development and Zimbabwe Natural Resource Dialogue Forum.

Civic Society Respond to Chidhakwa’s update on mining mergers in Marange.

We stand here deeply concerned about the arbitrary decision taken by government to direct mineral companies to merge as a way for the state to centralise its over-site on the exploitation of the diamond rich Marange area. We believe that diamonds are a finite resource and the structure of ownership and control in Chiadzwa in its present and envisioned state demands speedy and wise reform. This is not only a prudent decision in giving closure to this perennial problem but it is overriding human rights imperative.

It is our desire as citizens to have constructive engagement with the government because we realise the opportunities that such platform presents. We also know that the fair, transparent management and distribution of natural resources is key to the realisation of the achievable ...so called low hanging fruits of ZIMASSET. Reform in the diamond sector cannot be an event, but should be a well thought-out process, especially in this country and for this community to whom land is central to economic security. Sadily, the people of Zimbabwe have been increasingly denied of this opportunity.
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30 August 2014 Human rights violations upsurge in Marange amid reports of diamond leakages.
The CRD raises concern over the increase in incidences of human rights abuses taking place in the diamond fields of Marange. Information coming from Marange indicate that the tussle over control of business between mining companies and government has deeply impacted on the lives of workers and the mining community. Mining companies have arbitrary slashed workers’ salaries and in some instances workers have gone for months without receiving their monthly income. Other companies like Anjin have cited viability challenges as reason for downsizing in the process terminating contracts for hundreds of semi skilled workers who were recruited mostly from the surrounding community. The above actions by mining companies have contributed to security laxity in the entire operational structures of the mines leading to diamond leakages 
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9 April 2014 Civil Society in Manicaland responds to the latest developments in the mining sector: Joint Press Statement by CRD and ZNRDF
Appointments to Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and Mining Affairs Board (MAB).
Civil society in Manicaland note with concern that the government has once again made new appointments to ZMDC and MAB in the absence of a new legal mining piece of legislation and an administrative framework that is embedded in transparency and accountability.
The admission by government that the country has been prejudiced billions of dollars in potential revenue due to unregulated mining practices compels civil society to demand that the minister of mines urgently come out with a comprehensive mining development framework that is transparent and uphold the fundamental rights of communities made vulnerable by mining activities.
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18 March 2014 Statement on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human
Rights

The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) and the Center for Research and Development (CRD), call on the Government of Zimbabwe and mining companies operating in Zimbabwe to adopt and endorse the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are a set of guidelines for States and companies to identify, prevent and redress human rights abuses committed by businesses in their operations.
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17 March 2014 Press Statement on Marange Diamonds.
Centre for Research and Development and Zimbabwe Natural Resource Dialogue Forum
The potential of diamonds in Marange to accrue the much needed revenue that could rescusitate the ailing Zimbabwe economy and uplift the living standards of vulnerable communities has been stifled by the perpetuation of well calculated and deliberate practices by responsible authorities in government that has been seen in the eyes of progressive voices of Zimbabwe, Civil Society and summed up by the World Bank as lack of due process in the allocation of mining rights, concealment of beneficial ownership, opaque financial terms of joint ventures and leakages of revenue to treasury.

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crdzim 2016