Difference between revisions of "Chikorokoza Chapera"

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Latest revision as of 11:04, 29 December 2019

The Operation (‘No More Illegal Mining’), started in 2006, was to bring together the Zimbabwe Republic Police ZRP and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe RBZ to harness revenue from artisanal gold mining. It is estimated that 15 tonnes of gold (worth over US$ 400 million) were smuggled out of Zimbabwe annually between 2002 and 2007. [1]

Many artisanal miners were displaced and incarcerated. [2]


The post 2000 period included a dramatic increase in artisanal small-scale mining (ASM), particularly gold mining. Economic decline and rising unemployment meant that ASM provided one of the very few opportunities for survival and capital accumulation. A case study, in Totororo, Kwekwe District, provided details for one study.

Totororo was initially the site of an intense gold rush, which was quasi-formalised through being registered as a small mine. In the context of the political economy of Zimbabwe's crisis decade and subsequent period of power sharing, it revealed both similarities and differences with the political economy of diamond mining in Zimbabwe which attracted greater attention from scholars and the human rights community. Totororo clearly provided significant survivalist livelihood opportunities. Yet the site was also highly politicised and contested, and the politics of controlling extraction and trade were part of a bigger story of elite accumulation and patronage. [1]

A second article analyses how the nationwide crackdown called Operation Chikorokoza Chapera (‘No More Illegal Mining’) affected – and ‘disciplined’ – livelihoods in profound ways in both licensed and unlicensed gold mining regions. Drawing on interviews conducted between 2006 and 2013 with artisanal miners in the Insiza, Umzingwani and Kadoma areas as well as miners who crossed the border to Mozambique, the study reveals how a highly politicised crackdown led to uneven consequences. Highlighted is both structural and physical violence, with more than 25,000 miners and traders arrested between 2006 and 2009 and more than 9,000 still imprisoned in 2013. The crackdown demonstrated evolving political and economic interests, which assist an understanding of how simplified discourses on ‘eradicating illegal mining’ mislead and mask power dynamics, while policing activities transform patterns of resource control. The study also highlights artisanal miners' associations, which, in some cases, sought to resist coercive policies and rebuild livelihoods in the aftermath. [2]

Further Reading




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Political Economy of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Central Zimbabwe, Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol 39, 2013, Showers Mawowa, Published 16 December 2013, Retrieved: 29 December 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 of a nationwide crackdown in Zimbabwe: Operation Chikorokoza Chapera in gold mining communities, Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol 52, Issue 4, December 2014, Samuel J Spiegel, Published December 2014, Retrieved: 29 December 2019
  3. [Dorman, Sara Rich, Understanding Zimbabwe: From Liberation to Authoritarianism], Understanding Zimbabwe: From Liberation to Authoritarianism, (C. Hurst and Co, United Kingdom, 2016), Retrieved: 15 October 2019