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Zimbabwe: Whose Diamonds?

AfricaFocus Bulletin
Jun 18, 2010 (100618)
(Reposted from sources cited below)

Editor's Note

Zimbabwe's diamond wealth, which could potentially provide a decisive boost for economic recovery, is instead still a resource shared by diamond smugglers, army officers and police, and by cliques of top officials in the country's security apparatus, says a new report from "conflict diamonds" researchers at Partnership Africa Canada (PAC).

The report comes just as Kimberley Process Monitor Abbey Chikane has completed a draft report recommending certification of diamond production from the Marange fields, which will be discussed at a meeting of the group of governments, industry representatives, and non-governmental organizations in Israel on June 21-23. Whatever the outcome of that meeting, notes the PAC report, there are fundamental weaknesses in the process, which formally only considers "rough diamonds" sold by rebel movements, and does not consider human rights abuses and corruption by governments themselves.

The inadequacies were blatantly on view as the KP Monitor himself was complicit in facilitating the arrest of the leading local civil society diamond reseacher, Farai Maguwu of Mutare's Centre for Research and Development. Chikane's draft report focused on technical issues of security of processing procedure, and did not address broader issues.

If exports from Marange are approved, it will only replace part of the flow now going across the border through Mozambique by syndicates partnered by military and police personnel with sales through dubious companies established by the Ministry of Mines. What is required, whether from internal pressure from within Zimbabwe or from an improved Kimberley Process, is full transparency and accountability that ensures that the proceeds reach the public treasury rather than private factions relying on force and corruption.

This AfricaFocus Bulletin contains a press release and brief excerpts from the new report by Partnership Africa Canada: "Diamonds and Clubs: The Militarized Control of Diamonds and Power in Zimbabwe." The full 32-page report is available from http://www.pacweb.org / direct url to pdf http://tinyurl.com/2dhjclw

For an excellent short analytical summary of the current situation in Zimbabwe, see the issue brief from the Chr. Michelsen Institute "Zimbabwe's Multilayered Crisis," by Alois Mlambo and Brian Raftopoulos on http://www.solidaritypeacetrust.org or http://www.cmi.no / direct URL: http://tinyurl.com/2clpxh7

The leaked draft report from Kimberley Process monitor Abbey Chikane is available at: http://www.swradioafrica.com/Documents/KPMonitor090610.pdf The report includes sections on the theft of his papers, as well as his decision to hand over to authorities a document allegedly shared with him by Farai Maguwu.

For an interview with Farai Maguwu, before he was placed under arrest by Zimbabwean police, see. http://www.swradioafrica.com/pages/hotseat070610.htm

The official Kimberley Process website is http://www.kimberleyprocess.com/

For previous AfricaFocus Bulletins on Zimbabwe, see http://www.africafocus.org/country/zimbabwe.php

++++++++++++++++++++++end editor's note+++++++++++++++++++++++

New PAC report on Zimbabwe diamond-related violence:

Diamonds and Clubs: The Militarized Control of Diamonds and Power in Zimbabwe

Partnership Africa Canada

Press Release

June 14, 2010

Download report from http://www.pacweb.org / direct url to pdf http://tinyurl.com/2dhjclw

See also new Global Witness report, Return of the Blood Diamond at http://www.globalwitness.org

PAC Condemns Violence in Zimbabwe's Diamond Fields

PAC calls for the release from detention of human rights activist, Farai Maguwu, and the suspension of Zimbabwe from the Kimberley Process

A new PAC report about Zimbabwe's contested diamond fields is about many things: smuggling and frontier hucksterism; a scramble fuelled by raw economic desperation and unfathomable greed; and heart-wrenching cases of government-sponsored repression and human rights violations. It's a story about political intrigue, ambition and a complete disregard for decency or the rule of law. It is also a story of how the Kimberley Process - the international initiative created to ensure that the trade in diamonds does not fund violence and civil war - has lost its way.

Zimbabwe is not the only country failing to meet some or all of the basic requirements asked of diamond producing nations by the Kimberley Process (KP). But Zimbabwe sets itself apart from the others because of the government's brazen defiance of universally agreed principles of humanity and good governance expected of adherents to the KP. As such Zimbabwe poses a serious crisis of credibility for the KP, whose impotence in the face of thuggery and illegality in Zimbabwe underscores a worrisome inability or unwillingness to enforce either the letter, or the spirit, of its founding mandate.

There have been glimpses recently of a new strategy by Zimbabwe in advance of the June 2010 KP Intersessional Meeting in Tel-Aviv, where Zimbabwe's compliance with the KP's minimum requirements will again be reviewed. For months both Zimbabwe government officials and representatives of two new exploration companies (Mbada and Canadile) have gone through the motions of presenting themselves as legitimate partners in their efforts to mine diamonds in the Marange region. In May, Mines Minister Obert Mpofu pretended for once to recognize the authority of the KP by issuing an export ban on all Zimbabwean diamonds until the KP gives its blessing.

"It is, of course, a deception and a charade," explains Alan Martin, Research Director at Partnership Africa Canada. "It's calculated to confuse and soften the criticism of some KP members as they congregate in Tel-Aviv in June. The Zanu-PF leadership has no intention of voluntarily changing its tune. Zimbabwe should be excluded from the KP."

On the eve of the publication of PAC's report, the crisis in Zimbabwe's diamond fields deepened. The special KP Monitor sent to assess Zimbabwe's compliance with the KP has produced a report extremely favourable to the Zimbabwe authorities, a report which is effectively a whitewash. At the same time, Farai Maguwu, the leading Zimbabwean human rights activist monitoring the abuses in the diamond fields perpetrated by Zimbabwe army and police units, has been arrested following a meeting with the KP Monitor.

"This is the latest in a series of attempts by the Zimbabwean authorities to intimidate human rights activists, and stop them from investigating and publicising ongoing abuses in the Marange diamond fields," said Bernard Taylor, Executive Director of Partnership Africa Canada. "Such harassment is wholly unacceptable and must stop. Farai Maguwu must be freed unconditionally".

The PAC report, Diamonds and Clubs: The Militarized Control of Diamonds and Power in Zimbabwe, makes a series of recommendations to deal with the crisis in Zimbabwe and in the KP. Recommendations include suspending Zimbabwe from the KP and creating a new, broader definition of 'conflict diamonds'.

For further information, please contact:

Alan Martin: +1.613.237.6768 Ext. 6, Mobile: +1.613.983.6817 (English)

Bernard Taylor: +1.613.237.6768 Ext. 3, Mobile: +1.613.983.5708 (English and French)

Partnership Africa Canada been involved in efforts to halt the trade in conflict diamonds since 1999. Other reports on conflict diamonds can be found at http://www.pacweb.org


Zimbabwe: Diamonds and Clubs

The Militarized Control of Diamonds and Power in Zimbabwe

This paper is based on a field visit PAC undertook to Zimbabwe in April 2010. ... It should be read as a companion to Zimbabwe, Diamonds and the Wrong Side of History, a report PAC published in March 2009.

[Brief excerpts only. The full 32-page document, including footnotes and documentation, is available on the site of Partnership Africa Canada (http://www.pacweb.org]

The first [contention] is that what is occurring in the two contested diamond areas -- Marange in the eastern province of Manicaland and River Ranch in the south -- cannot be seen in isolation. They are inextricably linked to the same pursuit of political power, and the same defiance of KP protocols.

Another is that Zimbabwe's diamonds are "blood diamonds". This is a charge that Zimbabwe not surprisingly refutes, citing the KP's own definition that the term applies only to "rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments". But that interpretation fails to recognize the current political realities of Zimbabwe, or consider how, and to what ends, political elites within ZANU-PF are using diamonds to both jockey for power in a post-Mugabe era and destabilize the Government of National Unity, created in February 2009 with the inclusion of the Movement of Democratic Change (MDC). ...

The obsessive control of the country's diamond resources by this small renegade group threatens the viability of the Government of National Unity (GNU) in other significant ways. Almost four years after the military took control of Marange not one cent has entered the national treasury. This has three consequences: it starves the national treasury of any benefit that could steer Zimbabwe back from economic ruin, it thwarts efforts to re-legitimize public institutions and it leads to an overall lack of confidence in the Government of National Unity in which millions of Zimbabweans have put their trust to tangibly improve their lives.

By not explicitly acknowledging these threats to Zimbabwe's political stability, the ability of the KP and key foreign actors to appropriately respond to this crisis is severely compromised.


Following this discovery [of diamonds in Marange in June 2006], a frenzied diamond rush developed. When the government failed to buy up the diamonds because of cash constraints, a thriving black market quickly developed, accompanied by rampant smuggling.

Zimbabwe has been under increasing scrutiny since a KP Review Mission visited Marange in July 2009 and concluded that there were "credible indications of significant noncompliance" with the minimum requirements of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). Among their chief concerns were evidence of government involvement in human rights abuses, smuggling, and lax controls that compromised the entire chain of production.

An attempt was made to help Zimbabwe meet its KPCS obligations by appointing a KP Monitor, South African Abbey Chikane, in February 2010. The Monitor's duties include implementing a "supervised export mechanism" under which he would examine and certify Marange diamonds. Most of Chiadzwa, the district in which Marange is located, remains a heavily militarized area, as security forces fight a losing battle to keep out thousands of illegal panners that are drawn to the region with the hope of striking it big.

... Chiadzwa has been consumed by illegality and lawlessness, much of it done with the sanction or direct involvement of parties and individuals directly related to political elites within President Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU). One of them is Minister Mpofu himself, who is clearly benefiting from sources of revenue above his ministerial pay grade. In early 2010 he went on a real estate shopping spree buying several properties in the Bulawayo area, including the Ascot Race Course and Casino. Dimplomatic sources have also confirmed that he is intimately involved in the running of Canadile, one of government's joint venture partners. But despite this, it is evident that Mpofu is not in charge of what is playing out in Marange.

...

Recently the military chiefs have made their involvement less subtle. On April 9, 2010, Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri wrote to Mpofu "asking" for a mining concession for a shell company controlled by his department. He included a map and specified the areas in Chiadzwa he wished to mine.


The Chiadzwa Gang: "Shady individuals and fugitives"

In July 2009 the Ministry of Mines accepted expressions of interest from companies willing to enter into joint ventures agreements to mine in Marange. The process was undertaken under the auspices of the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, a parastatal under the control of the Ministry. ...

Only two companies were cherry-picked for consideration: Core Mining Resources, a small, unheard of diamond company based in Kimberley, South Africa and Grandwell Holdings, a Mauritius-registered company with ties to the New Reclamation Group, a South African scrap metal company.

The ZMDC signed agreements with both companies on August 13 and 14, 2009, granting them each concessions measuring 2100 hectares. In return, the companies pledged to invest $100 million in equipment and machinery needed to build physical infrastructure, including roads, security, processing facilities and water. ...

The joint ventures resulted in the incorporation of two new distinct companies in which ZMDC (through Marange Resources) has 50% shares. Grandwell and Marange Resources formed Condurango, which trades as Mbada diamonds. Core Mining formed a new company called Canadile Miners Private Limited.

Both companies have 10 member boards of directors, of which the ZMDC is allocated five seats on each. A ZMDC representative chairs both boards, and like all the parastal's members, is appointed at the discretion of the Minister.

The full corporate breakdown of the companies is far from complete, however; although Dominic Mubayiwa, the CEO of the ZMDC, confirmed the following individuals.

Mbada Board:

Chairman: Robert Mhlanga (President Mugabe's former helicopter pilot). ZMDC representatives: Sithengisiso Mpofu (sister-in-law to Minister), Dingiswayo Ndlovu (personal assistant to the minister) and Chrystesona Kanjoma, one vacancy. Grandwell Representatives: Paolo Kasasola, Chad Smart and David Kassel, two vacancies.

Canadile Board:

Chairman: Cougan Matanhire ZMDC representatives: Dominic Mubayiwa (Chief Executive Officer, ZMDC), Alvin Ncube, Beauty Moyo, Mrs G. Chikwava. Core Mining representatives: Lovemore Kurotwi, Adrian Taylor, Yehuda Licht (Israeli diamond dealer), Danesh and Ashok Pandeya

The choice of board members raises many questions about what, if any, due diligence was undertaken by the ZMDC before making the appointments. Insiders and family relations aside, almost none of the board members have any experience in the legitimate diamond mining business. Worse still, at least half of Canadile's board is implicated in serious illegality on one kind or another. They are, as one Zimbabwean paper called them, "shady individuals and fugitives from justice".

Kurotwi is a retired officer who played a senior role during the infamous 5th Brigade massacres in Matabeleland. Taylor is alleged to have worked as a mercenary in Sierra Leone, while Licht is believed to have spent time in jail in Angola on diamond-related smuggling offences.

Danesh and Ashok Pandeya were active diamond smugglers in DRC conflict and boast to be partners of high-level people in the Zimbabwe government. Ashok is on the police wanted list in Thailand over fraud involving diamonds worth US$100 million. ...


The Political Economy of Mugabe's kleptocracy

... the involvement of ZANU elites in the country's diamond resources is the latest chapter in a long continuum by which the violent expropriation and manipulation of economic resources have been used for their political and economic gain.

It is a continuum manifested previously by three key events: Zimbabwe's plunder of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the orchestrated invasion and seizure of white-owned farms, and the manipulation of foreign exchange rates during recent years of hyper-inflation.

An examination of these events shows not only a similarity of tactics, but also the same personalities orchestrating and benefiting from such schemes. ... the same principals now battling for control of Zimbabwe's diamonds, ZANU, and the country as a whole.

The public faces of this power struggle are ostensibly the Minister of Defence Emmerson Mnangagwa and his longtime political foe, General Solomon Mujuru, the retired head of the armed forces and one of Zimbabwe's richest men. Mujuru is also the husband to First Vice President Joice Mujuru, who at times is considered an equal partner in his presidential aspiration, but remains in the shadows so as not to cause offence to President Mugabe.

While both men have long considered themselves the dauphin to President Mugabe, the true power brokers of Zimbabwean politics are members of the Joint Operations Command (JOC). The members of the JOC are the high priests of Zimbabwean politics, the final arbiters of tough decisions, and the architects of every single government-sponsored act of repression from the 1985 Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland, to the farm invasions, to successive episodes of election-related violence. ...

[The other members are: General Constantine Chiwenga, commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces; Lieutenant General Philip Sibanda, commander of the Zimbabwe National Army; Air Marshal Perence Shiri, commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe's cousin; Commissioner Augustine Chihuri, Zimbabwe Republic Police; Major General (Ret.) Paradzayi Zimondi, head of the Zimbabwe prison service; Happyton Bonyongwe, director-general of the Central Intelligence Organization; and Gideon Gono, governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.]

While the succession issue is far from settled between these two camps, both Mujuru and Mnangagwa are intimately involved with efforts by the JOC to monopolize the country's diamond resources -- just as they have been with all previous economic selfenrichment schemes on which the JOC has embarked.


River Ranch: Solomon's Mine

River Ranch is known colloquially as "Mujuru's mine." ... But while Mujuru's ownership may be common knowledge, many other things about River Ranch remain in the shadows. The reason: the mine goes to the very heart of Mujuru's struggle for control of ZANU, and allegations it is being used to launder some of the plunder he and his allies secured in DRC.

In April 2004 Mujuru controversially grabbed the mine with the help of Adel Abdul Rahman al Aujan, a millionaire Saudi real estate developer who also owns luxury beach resorts and safari camps in Eastern and Southern Africa that operate under the name Rani Resorts.

At the time River Ranch Mine was owned and managed by Bubye Minerals which took possession of the once insolvent mine in September 1998. The proprietors of Bubye Minerals are Adele and Michael Farquhar, who managed to turn things around so the mine was producing an average of 30,000 carats per month.

The Farquhars' misfortune began after they gave Aujan a 30 percent stake in the company in 2002 after they ran into some financial difficulties caused by a cyclone. By 2004 the two parties had a falling out, and Aujan abruptly called in his loans. Shortly afterwards he convened a meeting at the exclusive Meikles Hotel in Harare, unilaterally reconstituted the company as River Ranch Limited and appointed Mujuru and Trivanhu Mudariki, another senior ZANU politician, as directors. Days later the Farquhars were escorted off the property by police at gunpoint.

The case has been before the courts ever since, with several legal judgments upholding the Farquhar's legal rights. Despite this, River Ranch Limited continues to occupy and mine despite a lack of clear title.

...

In Zimbabwe it is the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe, a parastatal within the Ministry of Mines, which issues Kimberly Process certificates needed for the legal export of rough diamonds.

Despite controlling the mine, Mujuru was initially prevented from legally selling any diamonds, thanks to an injunction won by the Farquhar's legal team. Undeterred Mujuru repeatedly pressured Priscilla Mupfunira, the chairwoman of the MMCZ, to issue the certificates anyway. She refused.

Mujuru turned to the Central Committee, the second most powerful ZANU organ whose main duties include dispensing patronage. The Committee is firmly controlled by Mujuru's wife, Joice, and includes Mudariki among its members.

In late 2008 Mupfunira and most of the MMCZ board were abruptly replaced. (Retired Lt-Col) Nelly Abu Basutu assumed the top job. She came with impeccable connections: her husband is Air Vice-Marshal Titus Abu Basutu, the deputy to Air Force Chief Perence Shiri.

...

As is explained elsewhere in this report, it is often erroneously assumed that the only fight for power in Zimbabwe is between the two parties, ZANU and the MDC. In reality, the more explosive turf war is within ZANU. While Mnangagwa's support base within the JOC places him closer to Marange's riches, River Ranch affords Mujuru unfettered access to his own diamond resource -- one that he has protected with no less ruthlessness.

Those who have borne the brunt of Mujuru's persecution are the Farquhar's and their immediate supporters. The couple has repeatedly been singled out for special harassment, including frequent imprisonments, house break-ins and death threats, in an attempt to force them to give up the mine.

The intimidation campaign took a very personal and tragic turn in February 2010, when Adele's brother Richard Amyot and his wife Tecla were murdered. Police ruled it a murder-suicide but forensics done by the family disputed that finding. Tecla was shot four times, including once from close range at the back of her head while she was lying on the floor. Richard was found slumped in a door frame as though running from the room. He, too, was shot in the head, but from medium range. No gunpowder residue was found either on his hands or at the bullet's entry point.

Despite all this, the Kimberly Process has never seen fit to interview the Farquhars.


In Marange, soldiers applied the rent-seeking practices they learned in the DRC -- in particular the practice of press-ganging local peasant farmers into exploitative syndicates to extract natural resources, including diamonds.

...

In Marange, the army rotates its brigades in the diamond fields, bringing new ones in on a 2-3 month cycle. Among soldiers the practice goes a long way in diffusing charges of favouritism (and discontent in the ranks), as it gives everyone a crack at supplementing their meagre army salary. The gwejas, as the miners are known in Shona, have a different perspective. They have found that in the years since mining began in 2006, the terms under which they enter into syndicates with police or soldiers has become more exploitative with time.

Profit-sharing within syndicates are generally constituted in two main ways. In the beginning it was more common for a syndicate of 10 or so panners to work with one or two soldiers or policemen and pay a flat fee of upwards of $1,000 to dig for a night. That would get them about four or five hours in the fields. After they paid their flat fee, they got to keep the remainder of their proceeds.

But as the boom exploded, and with the arrival of each new rotation of soldiers, the terms were often radically renegotiated in favour of the security forces.

Currently most syndicates engage in 50-50 profit sharing arrangements with their police or military associates, whose involvement extends to accompanying the panners to the local market to negotiate the sale of the stones.


Other than their obvious and absolute control of the means of state violence, the JOC considers their control of Marange to be their main instrument through which to engineer the defeat of the GPA that underpins the fragile unity government.

Starving the national treasury of any revenues from Marange is their most effective weapon in that regard -- something acknowledged by Finance Minister Tendai Biti, the second most powerful elected MDC official.

...

the logical question to ask is: then who has [benefited] ? Other than a handful of big dealers in Vila de Manica and Mutare -- most notably Bothwell Hlahla, Tarzin Machingura, and another simply known as Gonyeti -- the biggest winners are obviously the same clique of insiders and securocrats that have always benefited from illicit ZANU enterprises.

While the national treasury may be starved of funds, the same is not true for the JOC. While no one knows the exact wealth of Chiadzwa, Gideon Gono, the Reserve Bank Governor and JOC member, once estimated the value of smuggled Marange diamonds at $400 million in 2007 alone. Most of which is done by or with the complicity of people close to the military. ...


Civil Society under Siege

...

One such person is Farai Maguwu, the executive director of the Centre for Research and Development -- the leading civil society group exposing the smuggling and government-sponsored human rights abuses in Chiadzwa. On June 3, 2010, Maguwu turned himself into police, after almost a week on the run from police and the Central Intelligence Organization.

Equally as troubling are the tactics police and security forces have used against Maguwu and his family-- the most egregious of which was the treatment of his nephew Lisben, whom they kidnapped and beat in an attempt to pressure Maguwu to turn himself in. CIO agents also carried out an illegal search and seizure of property -- including computers, a car and personal documents -- at both Maguwu's house and office. Blessing Nyamaropua, a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, was forced into hiding after being allegedly assaulted by Chief Superintendent Crispen Makedenge and Detective Inspector Henry Dowa, after he attempted to make enquiries about Lisben. He was detained under Section 31 of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act for "publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the State". Authorities allege he passed a restricted document to KP Monitor Abbey Chikane during a meeting at the Holiday Inn in Mutare on May 27, 2010. Maguwu denies the charges.

The supposed document in question had been in wide circulation in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Europe for weeks. Entitled "Brief for Sub-National JOC by Assistant Commissioner Mawere N. On Operation Hakudzokwi Phase VII on 07/05/2010", it's not hard to understand why the five page document caused such alarm for Zimbabwe's military bosses.

Among the things it confirmed was:

  • The JOC is the de facto authority in Chiadzwa.
  • Both the army and police are engaged in illegal syndicates with panners. The 2.2 Infantry Battalion is singled out for special mention.
  • The government has failed to demilitarize the diamond fields.
  • Military personnel are involved in human rights abuses, including summary executions of civilians.
  • Security forces continue to lose the battle against illegal panning or smuggling, particularly at new mining sites in Chirasika and Jesse.

Maguwu's arrest is an undeniable assault on civil society and a blunt warning to others who investigate and publicise ongoing abuses in Marange. CRD has effectively been silenced. Notwithstanding the detention of its director, CRD has had its assets frozen, and its entire staff forced into hiding.

...

Maguwu's arrest represents a massive breach of trust and challenge to the future of the Kimberley Process in Zimbabwe. The KP has been presented with damning and undeniable evidence of continuing major human rights abuses on the part of the Zimbabwe police and military. It has been given information showing that the Chiadzwa diamond fields are still largely controlled by the military, which operates its own mining syndicates. Smuggling is rampant and illegality abounds, with leading politicians and officials steeped in this mire. In the face of this overwhelming evidence of noncompliance, the Kimberley Process has allowed a key witness to be arrested.

...

Zimbabwe's mockery of the Kimberley Process should not be tolerated any longer. If the KP is to maintain any shred of credibility it must take bold and decisive action to defend its founding principles. ...


Recommendations to the Kimberley Process

Suspend Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwean authorities have been given ample opportunity to demilitarize and legitimize its diamond industry, to respect the rule of law and stop the harassment and abuses of panners and civil society groups alike. They have chosen otherwise. The KP cannot in good conscience turn a blind eye to this behaviour any longer.

PAC calls on the KP to suspend Zimbabwe immediately. The suspension should remain in effect until there is legitimate and competent governance of the country's diamond resources.

Redefine "blood diamonds"

The Kimberley Process Certification System was designed to protect governments from rebel movements threatening their sovereignty. This is reflected in the definition of conflict diamonds found in KPCS founding documents, which described them as "rough diamonds used by rebel movements or their allies to finance conflict aimed at undermining legitimate governments."

This definition is outdated and needs changing. It erroneously assumes all governments are "legitimate" and does not recognize that such governments, in whole or part, could engage in acts of terror or criminality as egregious as any rebel movement.

The JOC and other ZANU insiders are clearly using the country's diamond resources to finance and further a narrow and illegitimate agenda that is at odds with the unity government.

The military's role using diamonds as a barter good for weapons brings a sense of urgency to this situation, offering a disturbing echo of how diamonds financed arms purchases that fuelled the wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The KPCS's strict interpretation of conflict diamonds fails to capture consumer concerns about rape, murder and mutilation being linked to products that are supposed to symbolize love and commitment.

Martin Rapaport, the publisher of the Rapaport Diamond Report, has coined a new definition that reflects the changing nature of conflict diamonds, and acknowledges the central role human rights have, and should, play in the Kimberley Process: "Blood diamonds are diamonds involved in murder, mutilation, rape or forced servitude."54

PAC endorses this definition and calls on the KP to adopt it at the earliest possible opportunity.

Include cut and polished stones to the Kimberley Process Certification System

Zimbabwe underscores an all too common shortcoming of the KP: once rough diamonds are smuggled out of a rogue country there is no accounting for how they end up in the legitimate diamond trade. Large quantities of Marange diamonds are known to have made their way to Europe, Asia and the Middle East. This sullies the entire diamond industry and creates uncertainty for consumers who want ethically sourced gems.

PAC calls on the KP to widen its monitoring and enforcement mandate beyond the trade of rough diamonds to include all stages of the polishing and cutting process in the KPCS.

Investigate River Ranch

Marange has garnered most of the media headlines, but the KP has also failed to stop illegal behaviour at River Ranch.

River Ranch must be a factor in any future action taken by the KP with respect to Zimbabwe's diamond sector, including Zimbabwe's readmission to the KP.

Join EITI

One of the most troubling aspects of Zimbabwe's diamond sector is the dearth of independently verifiable data surrounding their extraction, sale and export. Similar problems occur in countries such as Angola and Venezuela.

PAC calls on all diamond-producing countries within the KPCS to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and set up tripartite multi-stakeholder coalitions at the national level to track the generation and disbursement of diamond revenues.

...

...


AfricaFocus Bulletin is an independent electronic publication providing reposted commentary and analysis on African issues, with a particular focus on U.S. and international policies. AfricaFocus Bulletin is edited by William Minter.

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