Zimbabwe Defends its Right to Export Diamonds

The Kimberley Process is now defunct and needs immediate reform to save it from politicisation by USA and the European Union, Zimbabwe’s Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu told the KP intercessional meeting.

“In most of the instances that Zimbabwe has been discussed what has emerged clearly is that we have been made to chase the tails of other participants in pursuit of consensus.

“The failure in the past to garner consensus has not been precipitated by the absence of the ingredients to achieve consensus, but by sheer bad faith, lack of goodwill and the over adherence to hostile foreign policies on Zimbabwe.

“We have been monitored and certified compliant, why should we continue with the monitor. What is there to monitor on a compliant mine?

“We want to make it categorically clear here in Kinshasa that we will not allow or accept any mechanism of whatsoever nature, we are compliant full stop,” said Minister Mpofu.

Zimbabwe, a founding member of the Kimberley Process, is pushing for KPCS to allow Mbada Diamonds and Marange Resources to get full diamond export rights in order to resume operation immediately.

“Where is it provided in the KPCS rules that compliant exports must be regulated by mechanisms? How can we have the EU chairing the Working Group on Monitoring, since the beginning of the KP many years ago and have become the life president and the politburo of KP.

“All these chairs of the Working Groups must chair for one year in terms of the rules. Why should they be allowed to continue in office? They must resign now, and make way for fresh leadership.

“We have to make it clear that Zimbabwe is compliant and will be selling its diamonds for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe as a full participant like any other compliant participant .

“We will continue to export from Mbada, Marange Resources including Anjin which is now ready to export and all the new mines that will commence production in the Marange Area,” said Mpofu who received a standing ovation from African and Asian delegates.

South Africa, which is represented by its Minister of Mines, Susan Shabangu, stood firm behind Zimbabwe and said, “the deviation from the KPCS founding rules and statutes is costing this institution dearly.

“Zimbabwe is our first case of exercising the monitoring provisions and it’s sad that KPCS has started on first case by failing to get consensus. We all have made mistakes but I am hopeful that we shall use this Kinshasa meeting to correct and open a new and a fresh page.

“We see no reason why Zimbabwe cannot be allowed to export. However, the Zimbabwe issue tell that we need to revisit our founding principles for us to move forward.”

The intercessional meeting which started on Monday saw the arrival of Susan Page, US Assistant Secretary of State just before the start before the discussions on Zimbabwe.

“Its very interesting to note that America has a sent the biggest delegation to this meeting which also includes the Head of USA Sanctions committee and this shows the matter is no longer about KP compliance but it seems USA is taking its political fight to KP.

“Even if the required dispensation is granted, USA is likely to block the payment remittances to Zimbabwe in order to scuttle everything”, said Tafadzwa Musarara, Secretary General of the Affirmative Action Group who is leading the empowerment lobby’s AAG delegation.