Zimbabwe will not have any further side talks with the United States or any other Western country regarding Marange diamonds because it has met the minimum Kimberly Process Certification Scheme requirements and must be allowed to export the gems without monitoring, Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Obert Mpofu has said.
Speaking to US Diamond Intelligence Officer and a CIA operative who is heading the American delegation, Brendon Rueben-Brooks during a tea break at the ongoing plenary in Kinshasa Mpofu said, “Zimbabwe met KPCS minimum requirements and that was confirmed by the last plenary. Tell me of any country in Africa that has invested as we have done in Marange area. Any other outstanding issues must be regarded as work in progress but must not stop our full diamond export rights restoration.
“This time around we will not have any further side talks with you or anyone. We have invested two years in attempting to rectify all KPCS issues in Marange area without any external financial assistance. Zimbabwe is not being treated fairly,” said Minister Mpofu who was in an uncompromising mood.
Addressing the plenary, Eli Izhakoff, President of the World Diamond Council warned that the KPCS is losing relevance by engaging in issues that are not within its mandate.
“Even today, I sincerely believe that all of us remain true to those basic KPCS founding principles, but over the past two years we have allowed other issues to divide us, and in so doing have put the greater goal of the Kimberly Process at risk.
“What we need to ensure, however, is that tasks that the KP takes upon itself are manageable, and KP remains untouched by national, bilateral and regional political agendas.
“If we assume tasks that we do not have the means to handle, or we allow politics to infiltrate our work, the KP will be paralysed, and those very human rights that we are trying to defend may be put at risk,” he said.
Minister Mpofu is leading a 22-member high level Government delegation which includes his legal advisor, Advocate Farai Mutamangira.
The black economic empowerment lobby group, Affirmative Action Group is also attending the week-long Kimberly Process meeting.