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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Legacies of a nationwide crackdown in Zimbabwe: Operation Chikorokoza Chapera in gold mining communities
Author:Spiegel, Samuel J.
Year:2014
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies (ISSN 0022-278X)
Volume:52
Issue:4
Pages:541-570
Language:English
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:gold mining
miners
violence
Abstract:Although conflict in Zimbabwe's diamond mining sector has recently received much international scrutiny, very little research has examined conflict in Zimbabwe's gold mining sector. This article analyses how a nationwide crackdown called Operation Chikorokoza Chapera ('No More Illegal Mining') affected - and 'disciplined' - livelihoods in profound ways in both licensed and unlicensed gold mining regions. Drawing on interviews conducted between 2006 and 2013 with artisanal miners in the Insiza, Umzingwani and Kadoma areas as well as miners who crossed the border to Mozambique, the study reveals how a highly politicized crackdown led to uneven consequences. The analysis highlights both structural and physical violence, with more than 25,000 miners and traders arrested between 2006 and 2009 and more than 9,000 still imprisoned in 2013. Situating the crackdown within evolving political and economic interests, the study contributes to an understanding of how simplified discourses on 'eradicating illegal mining' mislead and mask power dynamics, while policing activities transform patterns of resource control. The study also emphasises that conceptualizations of the crackdown's legacy should carefully consider the agency of artisanal miners' associations, which, in some cases, have been actively seeking to resist coercive policies and rebuild livelihoods in the aftermath of Operation Chikorokoza Chapera. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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