Zimbabwe: Kimberley Process monitor for Chiadzwa

A key step has been made toward Zimbabwe exporting its diamonds from the controversial Chiadzwa claims as authorities said on Wednesday they had accepted the nomination of a prominent South African figure as monitor on behalf of an international trade watchdog.

Zimbabwe’s Mines Minister Obert Mpofu was quoted in the state-run Herald newspaper as saying the government had accepted Abbey Chikane, the head of the South African Diamond Board and a former chairman of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KP) as monitor for the eastern diamond fields.

A meeting of the KP, made up of diamond-producing countries, representatives of the world diamond trade and civil society bodies in November had ruled that Chiadzwa diamonds could only be exported after being certified by a KP-appointed monitor.

The KP laid down the condition after the organisation received reports of brutal military control over the fields and rampant exploitation and smuggling from the alluvial find, estimated by experts to be the biggest in a century.

The appointment of a monitor was blocked for four months by disputes between KP and Harare over the names put forward by both sides.


Chikane is also a director of the World Diamond Council, which has been highly critical of Zimbabwe’s lack of transparency in Chiadzwa, and accused the KP of not being firm in its dealings with Zimbabwe.

In terms of a “joint work plan” set out by the KP at the November meeting, the monitor is to have “full and unhindered access” to all aspects of the Chiadzwa output, the report said.

Analysts saw, however, that Zimbabwe still falls short of meeting its obligations under the work plan, including the withdrawal of the military from the site, and unchecked smuggling.

There are also questions over two South African-based companies that have been awarded licences to mine the diamonds in a joint venture with the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.

The companies were given the go-ahead to dig for gems despite a court order declaring that the claim belongs to London-listed African Consolidated Resources. — Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

2019: The ones who left us

From Uyinene Mrwetyana, Oliver Mtukudzi to Xolani Gwala, Mail & Guardian remembers those who have passed on

More battles ahead for domestic worker unions

Florence Sosiba, speaks to the Mail & Guardian about how important domestic workers are and exclusion in the COIDA

“Life has been good to me, considering where I come from” – Xolani Gwala

Just over a year ago, veteran radio presenter Xolani Gwala’s cancer was in remission. He spoke to the Mail & Guardian once he was back on air.

Kanya Cekeshe’s lawyer appeals decision not to grant him bail to the high court

Kanya Cekeshe’s legal team filed an urgent appeal at the Johannesburg high court on Tuesday against Monday’s judgment by magistrate Theunis Carstens.

Leader’s principal aim to build IFP

Gravitas: Velenkosini Hlabisa brings his experience to his new post as leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party.

Police Minister Bheke Cele addresses Jeppestown

Police minister Bheki Cele visited Jeppestown on Tuesday to speak to business owners and community leaders.
Advertising

Ingonyama Trust Board moves to retrench staff

More than 50 workers at the Ingonyama Trust Board have been issued section 189 notices

No proof of Covid-19 reinfection, yet

Some people report testing positive for Covid-19 after initially having the disease and then testing negative. Scientists are still trying to understand if this means that reinfection is possible
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday