Ban Zim Diamonds

The call by the HRW comes as the KPCS is meeting in Jerusalem, Israel from Monday to Thursday November 4.

Zimbabwe got a greenlight from the KPCS to have a partial sell of its gems after the diamond watchdog lifted a ban on the sell of Chiadzwa diamonds after human rights organisations complained about massive human rights abuses by the police and the military in the vast diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe.

“The government made a lot of promises, but soldiers still control most diamond fields and are involved in illicit mining and smuggling,” said Rona Peligal, Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

“Zimbabwe should mine its diamonds without relying on an abusive military that preys on the local population.”

HRW said the exploitation of the Zimbabwe diamonds are not being done in a transparent manner and said the revenue from the sell of the gems must benefit the people of Zimbabwe.
The organisation said the money obtained from the diamonds must not be used to finance political violence.

“Revenue from Marange should benefit the people of Zimbabwe, not finance political violence,” Peligal said.

Zimbabwe has parcelled out mining rights to two companies, Mbada and Canadile to mine the Marange diamonds but the government did not go to tender. The companies are owned by individuals who have a strong military background and are associated with President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party.

The two companies have made two diamond auctions this year which attracted buyers from Lebanon, India, Iran and United Arab Emirates.