“He is a true human rights hero who has risked his life to protect the lives, freedom and human rights of diamond diggers,” said Martin Rapaport, Chairman of the Rapaport Group.
“He is someone that every ethical person in the diamond industry should support, honour and emulate. As an industry and as individuals we must stand up and proclaim that the sanctity of life and the human rights of diggers are more important to us than diamond profits. I encourage every member of our industry to meet Maguwu and support his goals.”
A Director of the Centre for Research and Development, Maguwu, will lead a special session at the Rapaport Fair Trade Jewellery Conference next month during the JCK Las Vegas Jewellery Show.
The Rapaport Group is an international network of companies providing added value services that support the development of free, fair and competitive global diamond markets. Established in 1978, the Rapaport Diamond Report is the primary source of diamond prices and market information.
Group activities include publishing, research and marketing services, internet information and diamond trading networks, global rough and polished diamond tenders, diamond certification, quality- control, compliance, shipping, and financial services. Major activities of the group include the development of markets for Fair Trade Diamonds and Jewellery as well as the creation of diamond futures markets.
In May 2010, Maguwu’s house was raided by Zimbabwean authorities and he was arrested on false charges after giving information to the Kimberley Process monitor. Despite being sent to prison and denied proper medical care for over a month, he emerged dedicated and committed to ensuring the rights of Marange diggers.
Last November Maguwu was honoured by Human Rights Watch with the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism.
His activism has helped in relaxation of rules by government, which has so far allowed journalists, the Prime Minister’s Office, civil society organisations and Members of Parliament to visit the controversial diamond fields.