By Staff Reporter
Mutare: Government should create space for artisanal miners and allow them to operate legally and ensure diamonds are sold to the State as a measure to stop the continued invasion of the diamond fields, a top environmental activist has said.
Centre for Natural Resources Governance (CNRG) director Farai Maguwu said given the current situation, no amount of security would stop the invasion of Marange diamond fields by artisanal miners.
“There is need to rethink security in the context of Marange diamonds. Security is a tough task, but there is no amount of security that can stop artisanal miners from invading Marange,” Maguwu said at an All Stakeholders Diamond Security feedback meeting which was convened by Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) in the eastern border city recently.
Maguwu called for a “win-win situation” between government and the artisanal miners.
“What can government do at the moment? They should create space for artisanal miners and allow them to operate legally and ensure that the diamonds are sold to the State and have a win-win situation,” he said.
His calls come in the wake of continued shootings and killing of artisanal miners by security guards in Chiadzwa.
In a speech read on his behalf by his deputy, Polite Kambamura, Mines minister Winston Chitando said the diamond sector in the country should implement credible internal controls to plug diamond leakages.
“All players in the diamond sectors are obliged to implement credible controls in order to facilitate for optimum diamond security and accounting systems,” said the minister.
He implored the use of proper internal security measures to ensure accountability in order to end leakage systems.
Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs, Ellen Gwaradzimba said the company should improvise mechanisms to curb the leakages.
“We need to work hard as a company so that there are no leakages in the diamond sector. We are here in this meeting to share ideas and offer constructive criticism so that we have a credible diamond sector,” said Gwaradzimba.
“Wealth is for all people in the country and I don’t know where the culture of individualism came from in this country. Let us have morals and values that guides our conduct,” said the minister.