International non-governmental organizations which monitor the global diamond industry are voicing concern that tens of millions of dollars in profits from the Marange diamond field in the east of Zimbabwe are being diverted to fuel President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party ahead of national elections ZANU-PF says must be held in 2012.
Partnership Africa Canada and Global Witness, which quit the Kimberley Process to protest a recent decision by the watchdog group to allow export sales of Marange stones, say millions of dollars are being diverted to fuel the gearing-up Mugabe campaign.
Senior researcher Allan Martin of Partnership Africa Canada said operations in Marange must be closely monitored to ensure revenues are fully accounted for.
He said the organizations that stalked out of the Kimberly Process in protest will pursue other avenues outside that organization to keep pressure on Harare and ZANU-PF.
Zimbabwean Mines Minister Obert Mpofu said such alarms are being sounded by groups that never wanted Harare to get an export-sales green light from Kimberley.
Diamond activist Farai Maguwu said a water-tight diamond law is the only way to ensure Marange proceeds will benefit the country and not just a few individuals.