Diamond deals

20 08 2008

The senior foreman at work lives in the east of Zimbabwe at a small business centre called Nyanyadzi. Not a lot happens there. There is a small irrigation project and the usual small market. But things have changed since the diamond fields were exploited in the nearby Marange area. Having just got back from a short visit home he told me this morning that anyone can purchase a “pass” to go diamond digging for a day. All it takes is a bribe of R200 to a police guard. Benz’s are around in droves, laden with fat cats and US dollars to mop up the diamonds illicitly mined (no doubt they get the diamonds relatively cheap). Zimbabwe dollars are uncommon in the area; the currencies are the rand and US dollar.

This evening on our way back from a short cycle, Jenni and I passed the spot where Tina died. We’d gone about another 100m when in a display that was pure Tina, Jenni took off after a security guard crossing a field on a bicycle. A ridgeback in full chase mode is quite a sight but there was no malice – she was just after a bit of entertainment. The security guard noticed her as she closed on him, dismounted and shouted “Hey” (or something like that) from the security of the far side of his bicycle. Jenni swerved past and trotted off to sniff something nearby as though that’s what she’d been coming over to check out anyway.