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WAB Learns

Resource Conflicts: Primary Source Documents

Text-Based 2

...excerpt from Diamonds in the Rough, a 2009  Human Rights Watch report
The security checkpoints and guard posts [in the diamond mines] soon became de facto payment points where miners would bribe police to gain access to the fields and pay an exit fee on their way out.  Initially the police demands were modest, and often the bribes paid were small. According to one miner who spoke to Human Rights Watch:
When the police started guarding the diamond fields in Chiadzwa, we could easily bribe them. At the end of 2006, we used to gain access to the fields simply by giving the police a pack of cigarettes, a can of beer or mutsege (roasted nuts)...the evening we would approach the police and say, “We want to work the fields tonight.” The police would then tell us if it was fine... [and] they would tell us to pay them for access to the fields. When it was time for us to leave the field, the police often fired shots in the air, and we would stop working.

Editorial Cartoon