Local non-governmental organizations in Zimbabwe have been granted permission to visit the controversial Marange diamond fields for the first time since they began operating, according to Voice of America.
The rich alluvial diamond fields in the country have been guarded and controlled by state security forces, while all attempts by local and international civil society groups to gain access to the mines have failed. Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister visited the fields for the first time last month.
The participating organizations on the state-assisted tour included the National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Centre for Research and Development, Counseling Services Unit and the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
Samiso Mtisi, a member of the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association, told Voice of America that the groups will examine whether Zimbabwe is complying with the requirements of the Kimberley Process in mining.
‘We look at many issues including how many companies are there, how they are operating, issues to do with the security infrastructure to make sure there is no smuggling or anything like that’, Mtisi said.