Diamond Expert Maguwu Lashes At KP

“The deal does not protect the Marange community from abuses. The deal is silent on human rights. Neither does it call on the Zimbabwean authorities to protect the Marange community,” Maguwu said.

The rights campaigner  speaking in a telephone interview with Radio VOP  from the United States of America where he went to receive the prestigious Human Rights Watch Alison Des Forges Award for
extraordinary Activism.

“The deal is a step in the right direction but it falls short of our concerns as Zimbabweans,” he said.

“It sweeps under the carpet the failure by Zimbabwe to implement earlier agreements reached in Namibia and St Petersburg recently.

“This is the third deal on Zimbabwe in as many years and there is no justifiable reason to think this ‘deal’ will mark a turning point in Zimbabwe’s commitment to the KPCS and to transparency and accountability. It is largely a blank check to the privileged few who are making a killing out of Marange diamonds.”

Maguwu, once labelled a threat to national security by President Robert Mugabe’s regime, has braved persistent state persecution defending the rights of civilians and communities in the diamond rich
Marange communal lands in Manicaland.

Also commenting on the Kimberly Process decision to grant Zimbabwe permission to trade in her diamonds, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said it was time President Robert Mugabe and his loyalists demonstrate
transparency in the trade of the precious gems and justify what they had all along been clamouring for.

“What we are of course concerned about is that once those diamonds have been disposed of, all the money must go through the fiscus,” Tsvangirai said to journalists at a media briefing Wednesday.

“There must be transparency in the manner in which we mine and dispose of our diamonds. That is the most important thing. What has been mined is a national resource. How we exploit that national resource is in
the national interest not in a partisan interest. I am hoping that this green light by KP allows us as government to control the resources from Marange in a transparent and open manner.”

Meanwhile, the National Association of Non Governmental Organisations (NANGO) has congratulated Maguwu for landing the human rights award and commended him for his bravery in the face of persistent state

“Mr. Maguwu is a leading figure in the struggle by Zimbabweans for orderly and transparent extraction and utilisation of natural resources for the benefit of the nation,” NANGO Director of Programmes
Machinda Marongwe said in a statement.

“He has been repeatedly prosecuted and detained by law enforcement agents and been changed under the notorious Section 31 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. Despite all the prosecution and
harassment he has remained focused and continued with this important work that CRD remains seized with.”

The Alison Des Forges Award for extraordinary Activism is an annual honour given by global rights watchdog, Human Rights Watch to individuals throughout the world who have put their lives and safety
at risk in the name of defending human rights.

It is named after Dr. Alison Des Forges, a senior adviser to Human Rights Watch’s Africa division for almost two decades, killed in a plane crash in February 2009.

Des Forges dedicated her life to working on Rwanda and was the world’s leading expert on the 1994 Rwanda genocide and its aftermath.