Since October last year there has been reports of widespread killing by the military in the eastern Marange diamond fields of Zimbabwe.
Murisi Zwizwai the deputy mining minister of Zimbabwe denied the killings in the Marange diamond fields late last year. The denial was made during a meeting of the Kimberely Process in Namibia. He also said “the claims were a result of unsubstantiated reports”.
“Contrary to allegations in the media, nobody was killed by security forces during an operation at Marange, where about 30,000 people descended onto the alluvial mining field. These people comprised of cunning, die-hard illegal diamond diggers” said Zwizwai.
According to a report by the BBC, the armed military campaign was dubbed Hakudzokwi Kumunda, meaning “operation you would never go back to the diamond fields”.
Then there was also numerous reports that dead bodies were piling up at the mortuary of Mutare Provincial Hospital.
Many survivors of the military onslaught reported helicopter machine gun attacks. Civilians who tried to enter Chiadzwa were arrested, then tortured and killed.
Human rights groups have called for Zimbabwe’s suspension from the Kimberley process, citing numerous accounts of human rights violation. However the Kimberley process has so far refused to take a tough stand on the matter.
According to Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, around 5000 people were arrested during the operation and many of them were tortured severely.
The World Federation of Diamond Bourses banned the sale of diamonds from Marange in April.