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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Buying loyalty: Zimbabwe's Marange diamonds
Author:Towriss, David
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
economic conditions
national security
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03057070.2013.765694
Abstract:In June 2006, one of the world's largest alluvial diamond deposits was discovered at Marange in eastern Zimbabwe. Estimated to yield between US1 to 1.7 billion dollars per annum, the revenue from these diamonds has the potential to breathe new life into Zimbabwe's ailing economy. Yet Zanu(PF) politicians, in a bid to strengthen their political position, have ensured that a significant percentage of the revenue has benefited not the government's depleted coffers but a number of currently serving and retired members of the national security agencies. This article sheds light on three important aspects of the agencies' largely illegal exploitation of the Marange diamonds. The author seeks to establish why security agencies have been allowed to loot such a promising natural resource, first, through exploring the development of their increasingly close and symbiotic relationship with the former ruling party. Then the author examines the actual process through which they have looted the diamonds, tracing their evolving methods of exploitation and highlighting the consistency and significance of the enabling role Zanu(PF) politicians have played. The author concludes by demonstrating how the looting of Marange meshes with other examples of the plundering of natural resources by the Zimbabwean security agencies. App., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]