Violence Breaks Out In Chiadzwa Diamond Fields, 78 Civilians Injured

Sources in the eastern border town told VOP on Tuesday that the 80 civilians have been hospitalised at Mutambara hospital.
According to Zim-Rights, a human rights campaigner, soldiers on horsebacks and police with an estimated 100 dogs on leash, attempted to chase away desperate diamond dealers and panners that hovered around the fields on Saturday night.

Some state security agents guarding the controversial fields allegedly indulge in illegal trade with villagers and other fortune-seekers, some as far as from Bulawayo, Gwanda and other outlying areas.

It is understood the soldiers and the police unleashed the dogs on the civilians gathered around the fields after switching on floodlights.

“They let loose their dogs on the people whom they suspected had an interest on the special resource,” said Zim-Rights in a statement to the media.

“Systematic looting of the diamonds occurs on a daily basis and large numbers of corrupt and greedy policemen and army personnel are deployed in the diamonds fields to ensure that no ordinary people gain access. Zim-Rights call for the responsible authorities to instruct their messengers to stop committing crimes in Chiadzwa. The uniformed forces are also duly reminded to perform their duties in the way they are stated in the nation constitution.”

Wayne Bvudzijena, the national police spokesman, said he had not been informed of any disturbances at the diamond fields and promised to investigate.