Security Forces are reportedly still involved in syndicates of illegal digging, trading and smuggling of diamonds in Marange, a report by the Civil Society Local Focal Point (LFP) revealed.
According to the report produced recently, although levels of human rights abuses in Marange had receded, there were still notable abuses that occurred in the month of September 2011 instigated by private security personnel.
The LFP is a mechanism established by the Working Group on Monitoring of the Kimberley Process (KP) to independently support the work of the KP monitor to Zimbabwe in assessing developments and progress in the implementation of the 2009 Joint Work Plan for Zimbabwe on Marange Diamonds.
“The military is still present in Marange and some members are still allegedly involved in syndicates fingered in cases of illegal digging, trading and smuggling of diamonds,” read the LFP report.
“However, there were also joint efforts by the Mozambique Police and Zimbabwean authorities to dismantle diamond smuggling rings and dealers from Manica Province in Mozambique as part of efforts to curb smuggling and promote border security,” the report said.
It went on to say although Mbada Diamonds was active in chasing after illegal miners as compared to the other four diamond mining companies, Pure Diamonds, Marange Resources — Anjin and Sino Zimbabwe who were lacking in that respect — there were numerous reports of human rights violations by Mbada Diamonds.
“The LFP has received numerous reports of abuses committed by Mbada Diamonds security guards who set dogs on innocent villagers and illegal miners without any discrimination,” the LFP said.
A particular case cited in the report is of three villagers who were brutally beaten by Mbada Diamonds Security Guards.
“Villagers namely Tsorosai Kusena, Pikirai Kusena and John Gwite were reportedly scooping a water point/well in their traditional family field when they were apprehended by Mbada security guards with dogs.
“The three were taken to the Diamond base at Zengeni where they were severely and brutally beaten,” read the report.
The report also reveals between August October 2011, there were several cases reported of illegal miners, innocent children and elderly villagers who were bitten by dogs belonging to the security company protecting Mbada Diamonds.
“The community confronted Mbada Diamonds management on this and it has resulted in reduced number of abuses by the security guards,” the report added.