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Diamond Bourse Federation Urges Kimberley Consensus on Zimbabwe Stones

Researcher Farai Maguwu Harare should not be given a green light to sell Marange diamonds into given numerous outstanding questions about the development of Marange and ongoing human rights abuses

The World Federation of Diamond Bourses has called on members of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme to resolve internal disagreements as to whether Zimbabwe should be allowed to export stones from Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond field, saying a continued deadlock is causing irreparable damage to the global industry.

In a statement, Federation President Avi Paz said Kimberley members must “take the essential and courageous decision to allow Zimbabwe to export rough diamonds from all diamond mining areas in the country, including Marange.”

He said the Kimberley Process has failed to end a longstanding impasse over diamonds from Marange and therefore bears responsibility for reputational damage to the diamond industry and for much of the economic hardship facing Zimbabweans today.

"The KP, due to the deadlock in its decision-making process and its experts ensuing indecision to allow rough diamond exports from Zimbabwe to resume, is about to cause irreparable damage throughout the entire to supply pipeline of our industry and trade, and threatens the livelihood of literally millions of people throughout the international diamond and jewelry sector " Paz declared in the statement.

"In addition, if the KP remains indecisive on (Zimbabwe diamonds), there is a real danger that the relevance of the KP itself will be at stake."

The tangled Marange question is to be taken up at a Kimberley process meeting in June. Paz says that in the meantime his federation is telling members not to trade in stones from Marange so long as the Kimberley Process has not given approval.

Deputy Mines Minister Gift Chimanikire told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira that Zimbabwe has fully complied with Kimberley requirements and should be allowed to sell its diamonds so that it can increase pay for struggling civil servants.

Executive Director Farai Maguwu of the Center for Research and Development said that while he agrees Kimberley is in disarray, Harare should not be given a green light to sell diamonds into the world market given numerous outstanding questions about the development of the Marange field and ongoing human rights abuses.