Source: The New Internationalist
The last time I was in Zimbabwe I had an encounter with a local arts and crafts vendor who has a stall in one of Harare’s bustling flea markets. On this occasion he seemed disinterested in flaunting his archetypal Zimbabwean sculptures of mothers cradling their young or the clichéd soapstone wildlife roaming his rickety tabletop. He had become involved in the burgeoning diamond industry that had sprung up in an area of the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe called Marange District, where there are significant deposits of high-value industrial diamonds. He spoke of the astounding profit margins available to foreign buyers and how well he was doing as a middleman in this new venture. Inevitably, with the diamond trade’s crimson history, these stones were not being unearthed at a co-operative mine where the benefits enriched the soil from which they came. Rather, they brought with them increased violence and corruption to a people that know hardship and injustice all too well.