A roundtable discussion featuring Farai Maguwu, Tor-Hugne Olsen, and Shamiso Mtisi
Zimbabwe boasts one of the largest alluvial diamond deposits in the world—valued at an estimated $600 million in 2012—which offers great potential for the economic well-being of ordinary citizens; however, the proceeds allegedly line the pockets of a relative few associates of President Robert Mugabe and the country's securocrats. A recent Human Rights Watch report claims that state-sanctioned violence reportedly has left hundreds dead and thousands bearing the scars of torture and sexual assault. Despite widely documented rights violations and pressure from international advocates, reform of the country’s mining sector continues to face resistance from government leaders. This situation is likely to come to a head during the next year as the country once again plunges into a fierce competition for elections, which are likely to take place by early 2013.
Award winning human rights activist Farai Maguwu, Director of the Centre for Research and Development (CRD), has documented human rights abuses that have taken place in the country's diamond fields, most notably in Chiadzwa, located in eastern Zimbabwe. He is a Kimberly Process civil society representative in Zimbabwe, a domestic mechanism that is coordinated by Shamiso Mtisi, a lawyer at the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association. Tor-Hugne Olsen is the coordinator of the Zimbabwe Europe Network (ZEN), which has been instrumental in highlighting the work of local Zimbabwean activists to international audiences. For their work, Maguwu, Mtisi, and Olsen have emerged as three of the foremost experts on Zimbabwe's mining sector and are widely recognized as today's leading advocates for reform and accountability in this industry.
Please join Freedom House for a roundtable discussion on the current situation in Zimbabwe and explore what measures the United States and other vested stakeholders may take to address the mounting human rights violations taking place in the country.
Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to Kellen McClure at your earliest convenience.