Zim's Bid To Sell Diamonds Under Spotlight Again

Zimbabwe’s bid to sell its diamonds has in the past divided the KPCS with Western countries against the bid while some African countries friendly to Harare have supported that the southern African country sell its diamonds. The KPCS has allowed the country to sell its diamonds in three monitored auction sell in the past but the world wide diamond regulator is yet to give Zimbabwe permission to sell alluvial diamonds discovered in Marange over the past years.
 
As the debate continues at the KPCS meeting in the DRC this week Zimbabwe Members of parliament will be debating the motion moved by MDC legislator Eddie Cross to have all the Marange diamonds nationalised saying that the country has not been benefitting from the gems except a few connected individuals who have been lining their pockets at the expense of the country.
 
“The Minister told us here just a few weeks ago that they were producing in 2010, 23 000 carats a day,” Cross said. “We know from the facts on the ground that in fact production is substantially greater than that. We know that in fact sales from Chiadzwa last year exceeded $400 million. We are the custodians of the welfare of Zimbabwe and this resource is unique.”
 
Apart from the alluvial diamonds in Marange,Zimbabwe has other diamond mines such as Murowa and River Ranch which have been mining the gems over the years without any human rights abuses that were reported.
 
Human rights organisations have been calling on Zimbabwe to affirm that it will protect human rights of people in the area after reports that ordinary people were being tortured by security forces following a diamond rush in the eastern part of the country in the past five years.
 
The pressure groups have also been calling for the compensation of the families and communities surrounding the diamond mining area who were forcibly moved to allow companies to mine the diamonds.
 
Finance minister Tendai Biti from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has complained that some of the revenue from diamond sales is not reaching treasury something that has continued to divide the coalition government led by the premier and President Robert Mugabe.