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Home > Diamond News Center > Diamond News > World

Zimbabwe Wants KP to Greenlight Diamond Trade

08.07.10, 11:03 / World

Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti urged the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme to allow Harare to start selling Chiadzwa diamonds immediately.

In a statement quoted by All Africa, Biti dismissed allegations that such gems are "blood diamonds."

"Kimberley must allow Zimbabwe to sell its diamonds, but should be present in the country to resolve issues now barring KP certification," Biti said.

He further called for the speedy resolution of legal claims by London-based African Consolidated Resources over mining rights in the Chiadzwa diamond fields.

He said the issue of diamond smuggling and allegations of human rights abuses, including forced labor, should be dealt with decisively.

Zimbabwe is reportedly sitting on four million carats of diamonds worth an estimated $1.7 billion.

Biti, added the report, is adamant "to get Westerners to stop their onslaught and allow Zimbabwe to trade diamonds internationally." Harare often accuses the West of impeding diamond sales in order to maintain its international debt to them.

"Zimbabwe can fund its own turnaround if diamonds are sold," a government source told the website. "Perhaps Westerners don't want Zimbabwe to be self-sufficient and that is why they are opposing the sale of diamonds.

"They fear that with the money, Government can work without all the handouts that are promised but never materialize," the source said.

Last week saw Zimbabwe's cabinet approve the immediate sale of diamonds mined in Chiadzwa to fast-track economic turnaround. The decision followed Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu's statement that the sale would commence as Zimbabwe has met minimum KP requirements.

 

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