Artisanal Miners Robbed in Broad Daylight: Zimbabwe gold monopoly as a conduit to canalise forex and cannibalise bodies

Bourgeois economy, a daylight robbery! A daylight robbery!
Dem put a surplus value to de value of i and i labour
Dem take de surplus an de whole value an giv i and i noti n’
Bourgeois economy, a daylight robbery! A daylight robbery!
Mphutlane wa Bofelo

Introduction

Gold, together with tobacco, has long been Zimbabwe’s most lucrative source of income and foreign currency. And so, it came as no surprise when in January 2014, in flagrant pursuit of rentier profit, the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank (ZRB), via its subsidiary entity Fidelity Printers and Refineries (FPR), arrogated to itself a legal monopoly over the buying and selling of gold from producers, large and small. This study gives an account of how state institutions have been used to serve private interests in robbing artisanal and small-scale miners of their gold in Zimbabwe. It is a story of how the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank siphoned billions from the economy through the exploitation of artisanal and small-scale miners.

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Source: Southern Africa Resource Watch