Responsible Investments Campaign

 

1. Introduction
The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) is running a PAVE (Petition, Amplify Voices and Engage) campaign on Responsible Investments. The aim of the campaign is to ensure that local communities from resource-rich areas meaningfully benefit from the extraction of the natural resources. The manifesto of the current government is prioritizing economic development through foreign direct investment(FDI). Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Laws have been softened to improve Zimbabwe’s appeal to foreign investors. Whilst Zimbabwe is in need of FDI, there is a high likelihood that some of the investors may come from countries with poor human rights records. By emphasising on the issue of “Zimbabwe is open for business”, it is likely that the government may overlook issues of community beneficiation and violation of human rights in host communities. Against this background, ZELA’s campaign on Responsible Investments seeks to petition duty bearers, amplify community voices and engage duty bearers on responsible investment and human rights. ,

2. About the Campaign
The Responsible Investments campaign was launched in May 2018 during the Great Dyke Provincial Alternative Mining Indaba 2018. The campaign covers Zvishavane and Mutoko Districts. These areas are renown for extensive Chrome and Granite mining . ZELA’s PAVE campaign strategy gives power to the communities themselves to organise themselves and demand accountability from duty bearers .

3. Community members demands
The Zimbabwean government has entered into investment agreements with investors. One of the most talked about investment is the 4.2 Billion Platinum deal with Karo Resources . In light of the signing of investment agreements, host mining communities are calling for the following demands;

4.1. Mining Companies and Investors
• Invest in getting a social licence to operate. All mining companies must meaningfully engage communities from exploration to end of the mining project, respect human rights and cultural values of the communities and local employees, including exercising gender inclusion in all processes

4.2. The Environmental Management Agency
• Safeguard the environment and ensure funds for environmental rehabilitation are set aside and used for this purpose before, during and after mining operations.
• Provide easy access to environmental information to mining-affected communities so that they can easily monitor compliance with Environmental Management Plans.

4.3. Rural District Councils
• Enhance social service delivery from mining taxes and royalties and publish what you receive from mining companies

4.4. Government
• Disclose Mining contracts with the relevant stakeholders and meaningfully engage rural district councils and mining-affected communities along the mining cycle. Put in place laws and policies that promote local employment and local enterprise development and/or enforce these laws and policies where they exist.

4.5. The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission
• Investigate and act accordingly on time on human rights violations reports received from mining-affected communities effectively harnessing all powers and authority within the confines of the Constitution and ZHRC Act.
• Enable ease of access to ZHRC reporting mechanisms throughout the country.
• Influence quick adoption of frameworks like the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to contribute to improved economic, environmental and social justice

5. Notable Success
Since the campaign launch, the Government halted the mining of chrome on the road sides in Zvishavane. This was observed on the road linking Shurugwi and Zvishavane where chrome extraction was happening less than 10m away on either side of the tarred road.

6. To get involved
To get involved in the campaign, follow the hashtag #ResponsibleInv on Facebook and Twitter. We conducted radio interviews on Star FM. To listen to this recordings, follow the appended link. Please kindly visit our website and sign an online petition.

Radio Interviews: https://soundcloud.com/zela-information
Youtube Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_cmxlprbX8&t=415s
Twitter Campaign:#ResponsibleInv
Photo Gallery: https://www.flickr.com/photos/142795511@N08/albums
Online Petition: https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/responsible-investments-campaign#.W5dhoMnljTQ.twitter

Auditor General’s Report: Accountability Issues for ZCDC

Conglomerate diamond mining at ZCDC’s. Picture taken by Nyaradzo Mutonhori

The quest to bring improved transparency and accountability in the management of Marange diamonds – scandalously known for “missing $15 billion” birthed the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC). As the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA), an organisation with solid interest in resource governance, we are compelled to sift the latest Auditor General’s report to have a better understanding of how well or bad is ZCDC managed for the benefit of all Zimbabweans.  After all, Chiri, the Auditor General is famed for digging out publicly data exposing the rot in the management of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs). Her reports were quite revealing on ZCDC’s predecessor in Marange, the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC). Apart from sifting through the evidence provided by the Auditor General, the scope of this article covers audit areas that must be improved to hold to fully hold ZCDC accountable.

Stale audited report

Audited reports are an important health check on the performance of an entity. Mismanagement of resources, like any disease early detection, even better prevention is quite critical to ensure operational sustainability. Here we are in 2018, discussing audit findings from ZCDC’s 2016 annual financial report. A clear one-year unproductive fallow period, 2017, shows that we are dealing with stale information. This a clear violation of the Public Financial Management (Act).  The Act requires SOEs and government institutions to produce annual audited financial statements within six months after the end of each financial year. ZCDC’s predecessor in Marange, Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) was notoriously known for producing outdated audited reports.

Apart from the Auditor General’s findings, there is no public record of ZCDC’s income statement and balance sheet. Citizens, therefore, have been denied the opportunity to know pertinent information like how much income did ZCDC generate in 2016. Considering that Zimbabwe is well behind on mineral revenue transparency best practice, the public does not have a clue how well ZCDC’s performance regarding taxes – royalties, customs duty, withholding taxes and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) among others. The same information can easily be publicly mined for Caledonia’s Blanket gold mine in Gwanda courtesy of Canada’s Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act.

ZCDC is in financial distress

The Auditor General noted that ZCDC Made a loss of $7, 445, 606, negative working capital amounting to $7, 981, 756 and a total negative equity of $7,445, 576. Even worse, ZCDC is owed $20,307, 027 by related companies – SOEs that have closed. A figure that could not be verified by the Auditor General. The fact that ZCDC’s owed $20 million by related companies shows that the mismanagement of SOEs is contagious. There is a huge risk that ZCDC could have been used as a conduit to milk public funds through propping up companies that have since closed.

Mine rehabilitation fund problematic

The “missing $15 billion” from Marange diamonds has attracted great public attention, overshadowing environmental issues, rehabilitation and mine closure. The Auditor General failed to verify the $11,068,975, a provision for rehabilitation of mines left by the companies that used to mine diamonds in Marange. ZCDC’s response was that an expert will be hired to establish the budget needed to rehabilitate the mines and funding will be requested from the shareholder – government. As a regulate and player in Marange diamond mining operations, the state should lead by example. Unfortunately, ZCDC is painting a different picture.

Poor corporate governance cited

The Auditor General noted the Audit and Risk committee and Human Resource and Remuneration committees were not constituted properly in line with best practice on corporate governance. The CEO and executive audit officer are part of the Audit and Risk committee, and the CEO and the human resource executive are part of the Human Resource and Remuneration Committee. A development that compromises the fundamental oversight role of such committees as well as bringing reputational risks. The President has repeatedly stated the desire to fight corruption, the scourge stifling Zimbabwe’s growth. This war cannot be achieved without good corporate governance.

Illegal diamond mining activities

The Auditor General’s report is silent on the widely reported illegal diamond mining activities in Marange. Such activities are a loss to ZCDC and ultimately, government. As part of audit preparations, the Auditor is required to gain an understanding of the context under which the entity that he or she is planning to audit is operating under. Recently, ZCDC announced that it is planning to empower the community through artisanal mining to curb illegal mining activities and attendant losses through smuggling of diamonds.

Business and human rights and the threat posed by synthetic diamonds

The business case, especially in the diamond sector is growing beyond profitability. Because diamond industry is all about global value chain systems, from mining, cleaning and sorting, marketing of rough diamonds, cutting and polishing, jewellery production and marketing, consumer behaviour cannot be ignored. Increasingly, diamond consumers are demanding that beauty of diamonds should be preserved by ethically sourced diamonds which deliver sustainable development to communities impacted by mining operations. The audit scope must have been broadened to include management of risks posed by failure of government and corporates to protect and respect human rights, and in case of violations to provide access to remedy – United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Notably, ZCDC has been ordered by the high court not to arbitrarily displace communities as required by the Section 74 of the Constitution. Pressure on ethical sourcing of diamonds has been piled up by the emergence of lab grown or synthetic diamonds which do not carry the burden of human rights violation linked to mining.

Legal risks and arrangements with companies displaced to pave way for ZCDC

ZCDC’s creation was blighted with legal challenges, companies like Mbada Diamonds, Anjin and Jinan taking to disputes to the courts. ZCDC failed to carry out mining activities in the disputed concessions. Consequently, ZCDC’s ability to optimise diamond production for the country’s benefit was affected. Along the way, it was announced that government is not negotiating with the affected companies to resolve the issue amicably.  Parliament oversight lacked during these negotiations as required by Section 315 (2) (c) of the Constitution. On 20 April, during the field visit by EU delegation, ZELA observed that the Chinese were fencing off claims formerly held by Anjin Investments. It was clear that ZCDC was not involved from the brief that we received from ZCDC’s top management. The Audit report must have ordinarily been alive to legal risks and the status of disputes between ZCDC and the companies that were forced to close to pave way for the new arrangement – this is a sustainability issue.

Conclusion

For an entity that was established to promote transparency and accountability in the management of Marange diamonds, the Auditor General’s report shows a false start for ZCDC. The entity’s audited report is lagging by one year, there is poor corporate governance, and a company that is in financial distress lending $20 million to related companies that are now closed. The Rehabilitation and mine closure fund issue is a timely reminder to government, we cannot talk of counting the benefits without fully accounting for costs of mining. In the diamond sector, value addition is not only about cutting and polishing, but embracing the UNGP on business and human rights. Consumers want diamonds that are ethically sourced, and diamonds which deliver sustainable development to communities. Areas that ZCDC and government are found wanting.

Diamonds should sparkle in fight against inequality

With roughly $15 billion allegedly lost from Marange diamonds, the opportunity to fight inequality through domestic resource mobilisation was possible squandered. All is not lost though. This undesirable situation can be reversed in the quest to fight inequality. Government, therefore, must immediately adopt the following measures to ensure that diamonds champion the fight against inequality in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) must give 10% equity to Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust (CSOT). This will legally empower the community to get a share of profit from diamond mining activities in Marange. The softened indigenisation and economic empowerment framework still requires diamond and platinum sectors to cede 10% equity to host communities.

To fully exploit diamonds in Marange in a manner that promote community access, ownership and control of resources, ZCDC must move with speed to formalise artisanal diamond mining activities. “Indeed, there was greater economic impact from diamonds during times of uncontrolled alluvial panning than what is being realised following introduction of formal diamond mining arrangements” former Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, 2016 National Budget Statement. Formalising artisanal diamond mining resonates well with Washington Declaration on Integrating Development of Artisanal and Small Scale Diamond Mining with Kimberley Process Implementation Kimberly Process (KP)

ZCDC must disclose payments made to different government institutions like Mutare Rural District Council (MRDC), various taxes paid to Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and Ministry of Mines. This disclosure will help the public to connect the dots between diamond mining activities and mobilisation of tax revenue to fund social service delivery. The Constitution, Section 276 (2) (b) empowers local authorities to mobilise resources from economic activities to fund local service delivery. By disclosing tax contribution to Mutare RDC, ZCDC can acquit itself well on how the entity is contributing to local development rather than glossing its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. All in all, government must embrace move with speed to implement the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI).

Former companies linked with looting of Marange diamonds should not be allowed back. We have noted with concern activities on claims formerly owned by Anjin that the Chinese and military owned outfit is preparing to come back. Notably, the Auditor General raised a red flag that Anjin failed to produce audited financial statements to verify depletion taxes paid to government.

The return of Anjin to Marange: the blind side of the ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ agenda

By Mukasiri Sibanda
Government is on the overdrive to attract investment to stimulate desperately needed socio-economic development. Since Zimbabwe is endowed with huge mineral wealth, mining is the heart beat of the “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra.

By nature, mining is a capital-intensive business. Attracting investments, therefore, is critical to turn mineral wealth into modern schools, hospitals, roads and water infrastructure. Care must be taken, however, to choose investors that do not swindle citizens of their right to get a fare share of benefit from mining.

So far, there has been strong public disquiet on mining mega deals that are being sealed by government. Since the contracts are not publicly available, the citizens’ radar cannot detect how the mega deals are primed to dig Zimbabweans out of poverty.

Government’s move to select Anjin Investment (Chinese) and Alrosa (Russian) as the two foreign companies that will explore and mine diamonds escalates cynicism on mining mega deals.
Anjin Investments is not a new investor. Has government “learnt nothing and forgotten nothing” from fresh saga on “missing $15 billion” from Marange.

Anjin Investments was one of the seven companies that was operating in Marange diamond fields prior to the consolidation of the mines in 2016.

The other companies included Mbada Diamonds, Diamond Mining Corporation (DMC), Jinan Investments, Marange Resources, Kusena and Gye Nyame. Government owned a 100% stake in Marange resources and 50% in the other six entities that were mining diamonds in Marange.

In a rare show of convergence of views, government, civil society organisations (CSOs) and communities, expressed huge disappointment with diamond companies that were operating in Marange.
Red flags
Patrick Chinamasa, the former Finance Minister, gave a damning assessment that “…. there was greater economic impact from diamonds during times of uncontrolled alluvial panning than what is being realised following introduction of formal diamond mining arrangements.”

Along with Parliament, the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) raised several red flags concerning the joint venture companies that were operating in Marange. Chindori Chininga’s 2013 report on diamonds flagged that there was no transparency in the manner in which government’s joint venture (JV) partners were selected.

The report noted that from the due diligence exercise undertaken by Zimbabwe Mining Development (ZMDC), it emerged that the selected joint venture partners “have no diamond mining as part of their vision and growth strategy.” For example, government’s JV partner in Anjin Investments is Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Company Ltd of China (AFECC).

OAG pointed out in 2012 that Glassfinish investments failed to pay $40 million for acquiring ZMDC’ 40% stake in Anjin Investments. Shareholders of Anjin Investments are AFECC 50%, military linked Matt Bronze Investments 40% and ZMDC 10%.

Matt Bronze Investments acquired shares in Anjin Investments via a related company, Glassfinish Investments. Parliament’s report on the “missing $15 billion” recommended that Government arms, such as the security sector, should not be involved in mining ventures and should focus on their core business.
Hidden figures?

OAG and Parliament noted that Anjin Investments never produced financial statements to account for its diamond mining operations.

According to Parliament report on missing $15 billion, “the company started operating in 2010 and from its inception to 2015, produced approximately 9 million carats which generated about 332 million dollars in revenue. Out of that figure 62 million dollars went to government as royalties and 86 million dollars was spent under corporate social responsibility.”

Because of Anjin Investments’ failure properly account for its business, OAG could not verify the investment made by government’s JV partner as per JV the agreement. This includes taxes paid to government as well.

ZMDC contributed a diamond concession and the JV partners were supposed inject agreed funds to meet mining development an operational cost. Although OAG could not verify whether the agreed amount was invested in Anjin Investments, the company admitted before Parliament in 2018 that the full agreed investment was not met.

The agreed capital contribution and amount were not stated though.
Due to its military connections, Anjin Investments constructed a defence college amounting US$98 million. This shows poor public expenditure prioritisation. Modernisation of health and education is a major priority.

Top government officials are squandering the country’s scarce foreign currency by seeking modern health and education services abroad for their families.

Of course, the Chinese are our all-weather friends, but, in Anjin Investment’s case, government should put national interests first.
How can a company mine diamonds from 2010 to 2015 and fail to produce audited financial statements, a basic integrity requirement?

The JV partners failed to inject the agreed funds into the business and yet we expect the company to be born again.

Government should make efforts to recover $40 million from Glassfinish for acquisition of ZMDC’s 40% stake in Anjin Investment.

A vast uncertainty

Parliament should hold accountable, the Minister of Mines, Honourable Winston Chitando, on the selection procedure that resulted in the choice of Anjin Investments and Alrosa. What happened to the agreement involving Vast Resources and Botswana diamonds to explore diamonds in Marange?

National interests should not be used as a ruse to evade accountability. Section 315 (2) (c) of the Constitution requires Parliament to play an oversight role during negotiation of mining contracts, including performance monitoring of mining contracts.

It is disheartening to note that when the President sealed mega deals in Russia, he requested assistance to modernise the military. What Zimbabwe needs now is to modernise its health and education services. Mining agreements should be made public to enable citizens to scrutinise the fairness of the deals. A proactive move to hinge sustainable socio-economic development on mining as envisaged by the Transitional Stabilisation Plan (TSP).

Our rights matter

By Makara Alice Masawi

As the world celebrated the Global week for Tax Justice, the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association managed to facilitate a workshop on the 15th of March 2019 which was held at a local hotel in Gwanda.The meeting on Global Tax Justice for women ‘s rights attracted different stakeholders participating in the mining value chain.
According to the participants,the mantra ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ is just a mere utterance that has brought nothing but pain to the Gwanda rural communities as a result of foreign companies who are mining without considering community rights and needs.
According to the national constitution and specifically Section 13, communities should benefit from the resources in their localities but such cannot be said about Gwanda.

Community Share Ownership Trust started operating in 2012 and some of the big mines such as Blanket mine,PPC were giving back their dividends of 10% to the community through the Community Share Ownership Trust (CSOT).During the previous years,CSOT managed to record meaningful results including the construction of a local clinic and a labour waiting room in Silikwe area and also installing of electricity at the clinic which also resulted in five nearby schools benefitting indirectly from the electricity.Scholarships were also given to students who were doing science subjects.Drilling of boreholes and building of school laboratories are some of the biggest achievements the CSOT managed to achieve.

Section 76 of the constitution clearly states that everyone has a right to Health care services but our rights are being infringed especially in ward 22 resettlement area where community members are forced to walk more than 10km to access a local clinic.The distance has resulted maternal deaths being recorded and those with chronic diseases not being spared.

The Government is desperate for investors which is a really good thing but for us investment must also translate to human development.
Out of the five companies operating in Gwanda only two are complying in giving out their 10% dividends while the rest are not complying which has shortchanged the community.

Rural electrification fund is the money that is paid by the mines to develop the communities but women have to endure long distances in search for fire wood.All we want is to have biogas in our homes as well as solar panels that will reduce cases of rape that are highly recorded in the area.Women are going through a lot of challenges including domestic violence, and emotional abuse because of these challenges we are facing each day because of not having energy in the community.

Men in the communities are working in the mines and getting decent salaries and this is also worsening inequality.Some women have resorted economic scavengers in vending,prostitution and child minding but we need decent jobs and decent salaries to sustain our families.

Zimbabwe is open for business YES and this must translate to the emancipation of women and infrastuctural development of the community.It remains everyone’s duty to ensure that women’s rights are respected and not infringed.

How can litigation contribute to Sustainable Economic Development for Diamond Mining Communities in Zimbabwe?

By Josephine Chiname and Bridget Mafusire
Introduction
The law as a conduit for economic development, creates an environment for steady and fundamental growth to occur. Thus, the interplay between legal principles and local economic development concerns is important. For community members from natural resource-rich areas, the law can be the protection they need against abuse of basic human rights on the one hand, and a tool for holding local investors and government to account on the other.
In the Marange diamond fields in Zimbabwe’s Manicaland region, surrounding community members have come to realise some benefit from taking legal action to enforce their environmental rights, and have used the same tool to try and hold investors and government accountable for local economic development obligations.
In this article, Bridget Mafusire and Josephine Chiname explore the role of litigation in facilitating economic development, by delving into existing case law and analysing how each of the Marange community cases has in their own way contributed to upholding the rule of law, and improving local socio-economic development for the local community.

The importance of litigation
Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has proven to be of paramount importance in ensuring that community rights are upheld. Unlike regular litigation, PIL focuses on achieving socio-economic change that positively impacts the lives of the communities as opposed to an individual. It is true, however, that a positive court outcome may ultimately be ineffective if it is not combined with other activities to further the cause of the communities. Enforcement of and monitoring compliance with favourable court decisions should not be taken lightly, PIL works best as part of an innovative campaign on the basis of a broader underlying theory of change. In order to become effective for societal change therefore, the court process must be conducted in conjunction with other complementing activities such as community capacity building, research, and advocacy campaigns among others.

PIL Enablers in Zimbabwe’s Constitution

Locus Standi
In addition to individual persons acting in their own interests, or in the interests of another, Section 85 (1) of the Constitution extends legal standing to;
a) Any person acting as a member, or in the interests, of a group or class of persons.
b) Any person acting in the public interest.
c) Any association acting in the interest of its members.
This provision abandons the traditional approach which calls for application of rules of legal standing through the direct and substantial interest test as was enshrined in section 24 of the old Constitution.
In Malvern Mudiwa & Anor v Mbada Diamonds & Others (2009) applying the traditional approach, the court held that the Applicants had no legal standing to represent the interests of the community. Now that section 85 (1) of the Constitution allows this, Mr. Mudiwa, a community leader in Marange, has the locus standi to approach the court.
In addition, Section 85(3) (d) and 167 (5) (c) of the Constitution allow a person to appear in the Constitutional Court as an amicus curie (friend of the court). Rule 10 of the Constitutional Court Rules gave effect to this provision. In terms of our law, an amicus curie can be invited by the court or one can make an application to be considered as such. These provisions allow organisations and experts who may not be part of the legal proceedings to make representations before the court on a particular legal matter for the ultimate benefit of the community.

The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) has in the past been a friend of the court, and at present has taken a bold step in establishing a PIL Unit based on the great need for this in environmental, economic, social and cultural rights (EESCR) issues. Since its inception ZELA, identified PIL as one of its strategies. Up until recently, the litigation had been sporadic. But since the establishment of the PIL Unit in January 2019, ZELA now has two fully dedicated PIL lawyers, and its PIL Unit has been revamped and is ready to file process. ZELA’s work covers programmes in protecting the rights of communities in mining and extractive industries, land and natural resources, local service delivery, climate change and energy, responsible business and investments.

Expanded rights

An expanded bill of rights with justiciable EESCR can act as a facilitator for communities to realize socio-economic changes. The previous constitution did not make provisions for these, for instance, environmental rights were only recognized in the Environmental Management Act (of 2002), and were not recognized as actual constitutional rights. The current constitution therefore facilitates the tenets of local economic development in its entrenchment of key legal principles that are fundamental safeguards for citizens.

Reflections on legal disputes

a. Protection from Arbitrary evictions – Malvern Mudiwa & Anor v Mbada Diamonds & Others (2009)
In December 2009, Chiadzwa community members, with assistance from ZELA filed an urgent chamber application to stop their eviction and relocation by diamond mining companies and the government until the issue of compensation had been addressed. They also sought to prevent the companies from mining until an EIA had been conducted as required by the Environmental Management Act. The application was dismissed on the basis that it was not urgent. The judge pointed out that the community should have raised the issues when mining activities commenced in 2007. The court also held that the applicants had no legal standing to bring the case on behalf of the community in their own capacity (as mentioned earlier).
The lesson learnt for the community from this case is the importance of timing when filing PIL cases and the procedure to pursue. Though the court judgment was unfavourable, the diamond companies revealed information under oath regarding the relocation of the communities and the Chiadzwa community was able to hold government and the companies to account regarding accommodation and other social amenities using this information.

Before the court case; community members were moved into tobacco barns. After the court case and having been armed with the information that was disclosed in submissions to the court, community mobilization resulted in the construction of model three bed roomed houses, outside kitchens and toilets and some social amenities like a school. Whilst what was provided may not have been of the appropriate quality, it was certainly better than the old tobacco barns.

Commenting on the role of litigation as a community empowerment tool, Mr. Mudiwa said:
‘As a community, we used to be afraid about speaking about rights as we thought this would be judged to be political. However, the training we have received from ZELA about our EESCR through the various projects, gave us the knowledge and confidence to defend our rights against those violating them and also to the greater population of our community as we are no longer afraid to demand the realization of our rights’. (ZELA, 2012)

b. Access to information – The Trustees of Arda Transau Relocation Development Trust v The Minister of Local Government Public Works & Ors HC 68/18

The Applicant, a registered trust represents the interest of the people who were relocated to ARDA-Transau from Marange when various mining companies began their activities there. The residents had questions regarding their compensation, security of tenure in ARDA-Transau and the availability of basic amenities in the new area. In order to assert their rights, the community required information from the Ministry of Mines that included the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports, and minutes of meetings held by the government. When approached by the community, the Ministry of Mines refused to furnish this information.
This led to the community, instituting a PIL case against the Minister and the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (private) Limited. On the 24th January 2019, the community obtained an order which compels the ministry to furnish requested information within three (3) months.
The ARDA-Transau Development Trust and the community as a whole have been monitoring the Minister of Mines’ compliance with the judgment. While the enforcement of this judgement is still work in progress, the community has already benefitted from the litigation as they now have a court order which they can use as a precedent.

c. Adequate compensation- Cherechedzai Chiadzwa & Anor v Ministry of Local Government & Others
In December 2016, Marange Development Trust obtained an order which prohibited ZCDC from evicting the Trust’s members. Twenty Six (26) families who benefited from the court order had subsequently consented to relocation. In Cherechedzai matter, however, the two applicants did not give consent on the basis that no full information on how compensation would be effected had been disclosed.

Dialogue with the mining company and other relevant companies failed. Through the assistance of ZELA, the two filed an application. This matter is work in progress, and is one to watch, especially as the government of Zimbabwe has taken the approach to compensate farmers who were involuntarily evicted from agricultural land [see article here]. Although the circumstances for the two community members are slightly different since they occupy non-agricultural land, it is important to note how the government will treat the rights to fair and adequate compensation as espoused in the current Constitution.

d. Enforcement of environmental rights- ZELA & Others v Anjin Investments (Pvt) Ltd & Others
In this matter, the plaintiffs brought a claim in the High court regarding the disposal of effluent from the defendants in the Odzi, Save and Singwizi rivers. The mining companies argued that the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) is the first local remedy that the community members should approach for redress, rather than the High Court, this position was held to be incorrect by the Court since EMA has not the right to make declarations on issues pertaining to rights.
The Precedent that was set regarding the fact that EMA is not a dispute settlement body is of importance in reiterating the jurisdiction of the court on EESCR matters.

e. Other litigation

Information derived from private litigation can also be used for advocacy and assertion of human rights. In February 2016, the Minister of Mines ordered all private mining companies to cease operations in Marange area. The decision by the Minister resulted in many civil actions instituted by the diamond companies. There were civil suits instituted by Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group Ltd, Anjin Investments (Pvt) Ltd and Grandwell Holdings (Pvt) Ltd.

As a result of these civil cases, the Joint venture agreements between ZCDC/ZMDC and the diamond companies became public. Civil actors, and community members are now able to have access to these previously inaccessible documents. In so-doing, it creates the basis for advocacy for clauses and obligations that take into account community rights, and local economic developmental issues.

The cases have also revealed that ZMDC and its joint venture partners contravened the Mines and Minerals Act and exploited minerals based on invalid special licenses. This information can also be used to advocate for transparency on issues relating to licensing and monitoring of contracts as required by section 315(2) of the Constitution.

Conclusions
Litigation for socio-economic change has in the past been beneficial to communities in the diamond mining sector, however there is room for more actions holding mining companies accountable on human rights and local economic development issues. More cases should be filed to ensure lasting success and build precedent that communities can use.
In order to do this however, communities must be educated to build their capacities to identify potential rights violations. This work is part of ZELA’s strategy to reach out to communities through training of paralegals who are identified community champions trained in legal issues and skilled to record and report rights violations in their communities.
Community members decry the issue of employment opportunities for local community members. Section 14(1) of the Constitution provides that the state and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must endeavour to facilitate and take measures to empower, through appropriate, transparent, fair and just affirmative action, all marginalised persons, groups and communities in Zimbabwe. With the coming into operation of the state owned actors such as ZCDC, where private companies previously operated, it remains accountable for the obligation of the state to include employment creation for local marginalized communities, and empowerment in its immediately measurable results.
Empowerment initiatives must include upskilling community members to partake in the crafting of policies that affect them. So far, community members in Marange have not been consulted in the formulation of the recently published Diamond Mining Policy.