Zimbabwe: The Sad Case of Leaving Minerals in the Ground – by Farai Maguwu (All Africa.com – June 9, 2017)


Zimbabwe is now a fully fledged resource cursed country where abundance of natural resources is not contributing to economic growth but rather to recession, depressed liquidity, human rights abuses and unmitigated land and water pollution.

Fresh from the farm invasions of the early 2000s, Zimbabwe shifted to extractivism not by design, but rather in response to China’s construction boom which heavily relied on raw materials from Africa, of which Zimbabwe became a major source.

The discovery of Marange diamonds in 2006 and the subsequent entry of obnoxious companies with strong links to the military in 2009 sealed the fate of Zimbabwe as a resource cursed company. Once the military tasted the quick returns of diamonds, they spread their tentacles to every extractable mineral and began negotiating several mineral deals with Asian syndicates who bring the much-needed capital to open new mines and further develop existing ones.

Since 2006 Zimbabwe has experienced increasing militarisation and securitisation of the mineral sector leading to a rise in labour abuses and gross human rights abuses of communities surrounding mines.

The military take-over of Marange diamonds fields in November 2009 was followed by unmatched plunder of a resource which, if it was managed properly, could have changed the fortunes of Zimbabwe forever.

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