Maguwu Gets Top Diamond Job

The Zimbabwean civil society on Tuesday appointed Maguwu, the director of the Centre for Research and Development (CRD) to coordinate the technical team of the Local Focal Point (LFP) for the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).

The LFP, which consists of a technical committee of organisations actively involved in lobbying and advocacy work related to natural resources (with special emphasis to the ongoing work around Chiadzwa area), will be housed at NANGO, the umbrella organisation for non-governmental organisations in Zimbabwe, and coordinated by Maguwu.

The LFP will be instrumental in promoting dialogue and engagement amongst civil society, business and the government on the socio-economic matters affecting the country in the exploration of diamonds.

The KP local focal point is to present facts in full independence and support the KP Monitor in the performance of his duties pertaining to his function to report on the overall implementation of the Joint Working Plan (JWP).

The KP local focal point will have free and unfettered access in Zimbabwe to perform his/her duties, in accordance with the JWP and the terms of reference on the KP Monitor.

The KPCS is a tripartite mechanism that involves business, government and civil society. It is designed to certify the origin of rough diamonds from sources that are free of conflict fuelled by diamond production. The certification scheme aims at preventing “blood diamonds” from entering the mainstream rough diamond market.

The body is meant to provide assurance to consumers that they are purchasing diamonds free from war financing and human rights abuses.

Maguwu was arrested early June and charged with publishing falsehoods against the State with the intention to cause prejudice to the security or economic interests of the country. The State accused him of publishing several documents containing false information concerning activities at Chiadzwa diamond mining fields, including the human rights abuses by the police and soldiers in and around these mining fields.

He spent 39 days in police and prison detention before he was released in July ahead of a crucial diamond summit in Russia which discussed the fate of diamonds from the Chiadzwa diamond fields after a summit in Israel failed to reach consensus on Zimbabwe’s compliance with the Kimberley Process requirements.