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World Diamond Council Threatens Kimberly Suspension Over Zimbabwe Noncompliance


Zimbabwe last month rejected the nomination of a European monitor to oversee the exploitation of the controversial Marange field and named a Namibian firm to value diamonds from Marange, prompting the warning

The World Diamond Council said Monday that it will call for the suspension of Zimbabwe from the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme unless a monitor is appointed soon to oversee mining operations and exports from the Marange diamond field as the Kimberly Process instructed in November.

Zimbabwe last month rejected the nomination of a European monitor to oversee the exploitation of the controversial Marange field and named a Namibian firm to value diamonds from Marange, prompting the warning.

Mining industry sources told VOA that such valuators would only consider the value of the diamonds based on color and size, while issues of human rights, security and Kimberly Process compliance are out of their purview.

Zimbabwe escaped suspension at a Kimberly Process meeting in Namibia late last year but the organization insisted at that time that a monitor be named to ensure that Marange operations adhere to Kimberly standards

World Diamond Council Chairman Eli Izhakoff told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira that his organization will push for suspension if ongoing negotiations concerning the monitor do not produce results.

Deputy Mines Minister Murisi Zwizwai, who belongs to the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change party of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, said the decision to reject a British monitor was imposed by ZANU-PF.

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