Africa > Southern Africa > Zimbabwe > Zimbabwe diamond exports approved

Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe diamond exports approved


 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.


Related Articles
  • The Minister of the Department of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane will visit Zimbabwe

    2014/12/15 South Africa and Zimbabwe are set to sign a Water Bilateral Agreement on Friday 12 December, which will see additional water being brought into the country. The Minister of the Department of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane will visit Zimbabwe primarily to attend the Signing Ceremony of the Certified Agreement on the Cooperation on Water Resources Management. The conference will as well look at the Establishment and Functioning of The Joint Water Commission between the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Zimbabwe.
  • Mnangagwa and Mphoko New VP, Khaya Moyo Demoted in Zimbabwe

    2014/12/11 President Robert Mugabe has named Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko as his deputies with the post of national chairman scrapped meaning the demotion of Simon Khaya Moyo who becomes party spokesperson. Mnangagwa and Mphoko are expected to be sworn in as State vice presidents on Friday with Mugabe saying he will announced his new cabinet either Thursday or Friday.
  • THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company Floats Tender for Smart Meters

    2014/12/06 THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company has started selling bid documents to private companies for the supply of smart metering equipment estimated to cost around $100 million. Expectations are that the smart metering system will improve revenue generation amid reports that millions of dollars were being lost through theft and leakages on the prepaid meters. Managing director Mr Julian Chinembiri confirmed yesterday that the tender had been advertised and interested companies were in the process of buying tender papers.
  • Pioneer Scales Down Seed Production Zimbabwe:

    2014/11/27 "We are not planting any seeds this farming season because we have enough to supply the country for the next two years," he said. "Our farmers will not have a challenge of seed shortage for the meantime time because we have enough in stock," he said. Mr Myers, however, said the company had increased prices for maize seed by 15 %. "We have not changed prices in the completed three years," he said, adding the liquidity crunch had slowed down sales.
  • CHINA Export and Import Bank has disbursed $80 million for generation capacity Zimbabwe

    2014/11/05 CHINA Export and Import Bank has disbursed $80 million for generation capacity expansion of Kariba South Power Station to reduce crippling widespread power deficits plaguing the country. The $80 million disbursement is the initial of several tranches approaching under an engineering, procurement arrangement valued at $354 million. Chinese firm Sino Hydro, is undertaking the expansion project estimated to cost about $533 million, inclunding development costs to be met by the Zimbabwe Power Company. Kariba South's capacity expansion is projected to take 40 months and will add 300 megawatts to the plant's current capacity of 745MW.