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Wits University Press

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Facets of Power: Examining the politics, profits and people in the making of Zimbabwe’s blood diamonds

Facets of PowerNew from Wits Press – Facets of Power: Politics, Profits and People in the Making of Zimbabwe’s Blood Diamonds, edited by Richard Saunders and Tinashe Nyamunda:

The diamond fields of Chiadzwa in the Marange District, among the world’s largest sources of rough diamonds, have been at the centre of struggles for power in Zimbabwe since their discovery in 2006. Against the backdrop of a turbulent political economy, control of Chiadzwa’s diamonds was hotly contested.

By 2007, a new case of “blood diamonds” had emerged, in which the country’s security forces engaged with informal miners and black market dealers in the exploitation of rough diamonds, violently disrupting local communities and looting a key national resource. The formalisation of diamond mining in 2010 introduced new forms of large-scale theft, displacement and rights abuses, with as much as $13 billion now estimated by government to have gone missing.

Facets of Power is the first comprehensive account of the emergence, meaning and profound impact of Chiadzwa’s diamonds. Drawing on new fieldwork and published sources, the contributors present a graphic and accessibly written narrative of corruption and greed, as well as resistance by those who have suffered at the hands of the mineral’s secretive and violent beneficiaries.

If the lessons of resistance have been mostly disheartening, they also point towards more effective strategies for managing public resources, and mounting democratic challenges to elites whose power is sustained by preying on them.

A shocking account of the Marange diamond tragedy which, instead of uplifting the lives of the poverty-stricken local people living in one of the most arid regions of Zimbabwe, dashed their hopes and exposed the ruthless and inhuman nature of a corrupt, selfish and shameless regime. This well-researched book is a must read, not only for this our present generation but for posterity – with a view to saying “never again”.

The Rt Rev. Dr S Bakare – Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Harare

London and Antwerp are famous for major diamond robberies. These are nothing compared with what happened in Zimbabwe. Facets of Power is an insider’s look at one of the greatest and most disgraceful diamond heists of all time. It will help to ensure that Marange crimes and the criminals who committed them are not forgotten.

- Ian Smillie, author of Blood on the Stone: Greed, Corruption and War in the Global Diamond Trade, and Diamonds

About the editors

Richard Saunders is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies at York University, Toronto, Canada.

Tinashe Nyamunda is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Book details


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