Africa > Southern Africa > Zimbabwe > Zimbabwe diamond exports approved

Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe diamond exports approved

2011/11/04

 Zimbabwe diamond exports approved

An international ban on Zimbabwe selling diamonds from several of its rich eastern Marange mines has been lifted by the industry's watchdog. The World Diamond Council (WDC) said it welcomed the decision, reached in talks involving the US, European Union (EU) and African countries. The EU and US had blocked previous attempts to lift the ban. It was imposed in 2009 following allegations that Zimbabwean military officers had a stake in the industry.

Europe's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the EU supported the lifting of the ban because of "a renewed commitment by Zimbabwe to address outstanding areas of noncompliance", the Reuters news agency reports. The agreement was reached at a meeting in the Democratic Republic of Congo of the Kimberley Process, a watchdog body which certifies international trade in diamonds to ensure they are not used to fuel conflicts.
'Decisive victory'

In a statement, the WDC said the breakthrough paved the way for the immediate export of rough diamonds from the mining operations of two companies, Marange Resources and Mbada.

Credit also is due to Zimbabwe, the African nations led by South Africa, the US, and a host of individuals and delegates who put in long hours in negotiating the arrangement”  Eli Izhakoff World Diamond Council president

The Zimbabwe government wholly owns Marange Resources and has a 50% stake in Mbada, which it co-owns with South African investors, Reuters reports. Other companies such as Anjin Zimbabwe, a 50-50 joint venture between the Zimbabwean and Chinese governments, will begin to export after a Kimberley Process verification team visits their operations in the next two weeks, it reports.

WDC President Eli Izhakoff described the deal as a milestone.

"[It] demonstrates categorically that the Kimberley Process provides the framework through which the integrity of the rough diamond chain of distribution can be protected, while at the same time enabling producing countries [to] gain benefit from their natural resources," he said.

Mr Izhakoff said the EU had played a key role in ending the deadlock.

"Credit also is due to Zimbabwe, the African nations led by South Africa, the US, and a host of individuals and delegates who put in long hours in negotiating the arrangement," he said.

In June, the DR Congo government - after hosting a meeting of the Kimberley Process group - issued a statement, saying consensus had been reached on lifting the ban. Zimbabwe's state-owned Herald newspaper said the lifting of the ban heralded a "decisive victory in the struggle against Western economic hegemony". Zimbabwe stands to earn more than $3bn (£1.8bn) a year from the three Marange mines, it reports.

The ban was imposed in 2009, following allegations that some mines in Marange are controlled by Zimbabwe's military, who channel funds to President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

Human rights groups also claimed that people were forced to work on the mines and some of them were badly assaulted.

The authorities in Zimbabwe denied the allegations.

Zimbabwe is currently governed by a coalition made up of Zanu-PF and its main rival, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. The coalition was formed in 2009, following elections marred by violence. Analysts say it has achieved stability in Zimbabwe, but tensions are rising again ahead of elections expected next year.

Comments

Related Articles
  • Remaining White Farmers Must Go - Zimbabwe

    2014/07/07 PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe on Wednesday ratcheted up pressure against few hundred white remaining farmers saying they too must go adding whites would no longer be allowed to own land in Zimbabwe. In an address filled with anti-western rhetoric at the launch of the A1 Model Settlement Tenure Permit in the Zanu PF heartland of Mashonaland West, Mugabe said Zimbabwe was no country for whites as far as the land was concerned. "There are white farmers who are still on the land and have the protection of some cabinet ministers and politicians inclunding traditional leaders," he said.
  • Representatives of tobacco growers in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Kenya and South Africa

    2014/07/06 Representatives of tobacco growers in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Kenya and South Africa together with representatives of the International Tobacco Growers’ Association (ITGA) have called on all governments, particularly those from the tobacco-growing regions, to include them in discussions of policies that will have a direct impact on their lives. They made the call next their conference in Harare, Zimbabwe, over the completed three days to discuss issues that will have a major impact on their livelihoods ITGA President Francois van der Merwe said that tobacco growers are alarmed that recommendations on tobacco proposed for the next Conference of the Parties (COP6) of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) will penalise growers for whom tobacco crops are a route out of poverty and a way of life.
  • Zimbabwe’s major inland dam will be drained

    2014/06/04 Zimbabwe’s major inland dam will be drained to allow the construction of a new wall next the original structure burst before this year. Thousands of people were evacuated and additional than 3 000 villagers along the Tokwe Mukorsi basin left homeless next heavy rains caused the Tokwe-Mukorsi dam to partially collapse early this year. Construction of the new wall is schedule to begin this month. However, the engineers say the dam must be emptied for the wall to be constructed. This has raised concern as the dam water will not be used productively.
  • PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has again jetted off to Singapore,

    2014/05/18 PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has again jetted off to Singapore, in a trip that will likely spark renewed speculation about his health. According to a statement released Wednesday by presidential spokesperson, George Charamba, Mugabe will be in Singapore for a week. "President Robert Mugabe left for Singapore this afternoon for a week long private visit to that country. During his visit the President will undergo a routine eye check-up following a recent procedure on the same," said Charamba. Speculation continues to swirl around Mugabe's health next an extra visit to Singapore in February this year and a litany of cabinet conference postponements in the completed few months.
  • Zimbabwe'S indigenisation policies has left the construction of a multimillion dollar mall in Bulawayo

    2014/05/15 ZIMBABWE'S indigenisation policies has left the construction of a multimillion dollar mall in Bulawayo in the balance with reports a South African-based company that won the tender to build the facility was rethinking its decision. Tearracota Pvt won a tender to construct a $60 million national-of-the-art multi-purpose complex at Egodini in the country's second biggest city. Tearracota company representatives were supposed to meet Bulawayo City Council fathers last week to sign the transaction to pave way for construction but return to South Africa without signing.