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Kimberly Process Opens Investigations Into Zimbabwe Diamond Flows

Following a complaint from the New York-based World Diamond Council that gems from Zimbabwe are being exported without certification under the so-called Kimberly Process, a spokesperson for the European Commission, which currently chairs the Kimberly Process, confirmed Wednesday an investigation has been opened.

The allegations as to the contravention of Kimberly Process rules arose in the context of a dispute over the ownership of a diamond mine in Beitbridge, Matebeleland South, and another in Marange in eastern Manicaland Province.

The Beitbridge mine was taken over by the River Ranch consortium, of which former general Solomon Mujuru, husband of Zimbabwean Vice President Joyce Mujuru, is a principal. The Zimbabwean army seized control of the Marange mine.

European Commission external relations spokeswoman Emma Udwin told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that a Kimberly Process investigation is under way, adding that the Harare government has been cooperating.

Udwin declined to provide further details on the investigation.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...