Saturday, July 03, 2010

Zimbabwe Diamonds Ready for Export

Diamonds ready for Export

By Tafadzwa Chiremba
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

A LEADING Harare lawyer, Advocate Farai Mutamangira, has said according to proceedings at the KP meeting in Tel Aviv, Israel, last week, Zimbabwe can now start exporting diamonds mined at the Chiadzwa fields.

In an interview last week, Adv Mutamangira — who attended the recent Tel Aviv meeting — said the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPSC) had endorsed the sale of the diamonds.

He said the Western non-governmental organisations that advocated a ban on the exports were obscure and inconsequential as they were not part of the KPSC.

“Any continued dialogue on Zimbabwe’s exports should not be on whether or not the country should export diamonds because the country’s entitlement to export is derived from the confirmation by the monitor whose report was adopted in full plenary,” he said.

A fortnight ago, the KPSC met in Tel Aviv where it was, among other issues, expected to decide on the sale of the country’s diamonds.

It is understood participants endorsed the report of the monitor for Zimbabwe, Mr Abbey Chikane, which showed that the country had complied with KP specifications.

However, confusion arose after Canada, Australia, the US and some European Union members voted against the exports.

A group of hostile NGOs also advocated a ban and tried to sow seeds of confusion.

Adv Mutamangira — a State lawyer — said the country was free to proceed with the sale of the precious stones.

He said Mr Chikane presented his report on the first day of the meeting. Participants subsequently endorsed it, effectively clearing the way for trade in the precious stones.

Adv Mutamangira said the NGOs raised human rights complaints on the following day with Canada, Australia and the US joining in.

“The position is not surprising as they have openly pursued a hostile foreign policy on Zimbabwe. The non-governmental organisations — the World Diamond Council (WDC), the World Federation of Diamond Bosses and the National Diamonds Manufacturing Association (NDMA) — are all observers,” he said.

“In terms of the Constitutive Memorandum of the KP, the consensus referred to is the consensus of the participants which are member states and not observers. All decisions are only made by participants and not observers. Those who are saying Zimbabwe must not export diamonds are parroting the position of NGOs and countries like the US, Canada and Australia.”

Mr Chikane produced a report of his findings after assessing operations in Chiadzwa. The report hailed the country’s security system, especially that of Mbada Diamonds and Canadile Miners — the two companies operating at the fields.

He said the system was more advanced than that of similar operations in Africa.

KP is a voluntary organisation comprising diamond-producing countries. It is against trade in conflict diamonds. The KP was created after numerous protests by NGOs against conflict diamonds from Sierra Leone, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where rebel movements sought to overthrow legitimate governments.
Zimbabwe is one of the founding members after joining the group in 2002.

President urges Church to respect local culture

Sunday Mail Reporter

PRESIDENT Mugabe has urged church leaders to respect the local culture to avoid conflicts with society.

He was speaking yesterday during the unveiling of the tombstone of his great- grandfather, Sekuru Johannese Karigamombe, who died in 1918.

“If we have priests who understand that our culture is in line with Christianity we will have no problems,” said the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

“We say this is our country and that the land is ours, but we hear that there are some priests who say we are grabbing land.”

President Mugabe said such church leaders should understand that whites would never allow foreigners to control their land.

President Mugabe commended Roman Catholic Church priest Father Nhetekwa for leading the ceremony to unveil the tombstone.

He urged those of the Zvimba clan to unite, especially on the issue of chieftainship.

“Chieftainship should not be a problem,” said President Mugabe.

“There were arguments before the current Chief Zvimba was installed, but if we unite we will be able to move forward. If we fight for chieftainship, some will end up leaving this area.”

President Mugabe said it was important for young children from the Zvimba clan to be shown sacred places so that they understood their history.

“Just giving them oral history is not enough,” he said. “We hear of sacred places where there are graves and other things. Signs should be put there for our children to remember.”

President Mugabe said Sekuru Karigamombe’s grave was in a poor state before they thought of sprucing it up.

Sekuru Karigamombe had four sons — Chatunga, Mateyesanwa, Matibiri and Shereni.

He also had six daughters — Karuga, Zvinatse, Herena Kachuma, Monica and Matiringisa.

Chatunga was the grandfather to President Mugabe.

The ceremony started with a church service before the tombstone was unveiled.

A number of speakers traced the history of the Zvimba clan.

Historian Cde Aeneas Chigwedere said the history of the Zvimba clan was linked to Mutapa and the Dande area in Mashonaland Central.

He said the lineage included such people as Neuteve, Mutota and Chingowo.

But there were light moments when Chief Zvimba challenged some of Cde Chigwedere’s assertions.

“Some of what we are told by Cde Chigwedere is not true,” he said.

“Come to us the people of Zvimba so that we give you true information. You must hear it from the horse’s mouth.”

Chief Zvimba said people must honour their ancestors, but to do that they must be united.

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