The members of local Non-Governmental Organizations in Zimbabwe who visited the controversial Marange diamond fields for the first time on Wednesday have expressed satisfaction with the fields’ operations, according to Voice of America. The area has been a no-go zone since it came under the military’s control in 2008.
The visitors – civil society groups and local journalists – said the diamond fields had state-of-the-art infrastructure and security systems which seem to meet the minimum standards required by the Kimberley Process in terms of security, safety, health and transparency, according to the newspaper. However, they still had unanswered questions over the handling of human rights issues in the fields.
The Director of the Center for Research and Development, Maguwu Farai, was quoted by Voice of America saying that the touring group was not given the opportunity to speak to affected communities of miners, but only to inspect the process of production.
‘We were impressed with the infrastructure and the security in place’, said Farai to the newspaper, ‘but we would be happier if it’s realized that the accelerated production we witnessed is translated into revenue collection by central government, and translate into material wealth for Zimbabweans’.