History in the making: Zimbabwe agrees to join Kimberley Process

The following article appears courtesy of  Israeli Diamond Indutry Blog

Author: Roe Kalb

This week’s festivities have more to them than just the Jewish world celebrating Passover and the Christian world celebrating Easter. This week’s festivities are also about Zimbabwe finally agreeing to join the Kimberley Process, which means to ensure the fair trade of diamonds. 

Israel, which is a member nation of the Kimberley Process, will also serve as its chair in 2010, and as such will head the efforts to ensure the fair trade of diamonds. 

The Zimbabwean government officially invited Abbey Chikane, who was chosen by the Kimberley Process to monitor Zimbabwe’s compliance efforts, to certify the diamonds mined at Chiadzwa – home to the controversial Marange diamond field.

Mines and Mining Development Secretary Thankful Musukutwa said his ministry invited Chikane to personally see how his recommendations, made during a fact-finding meeting in February, have been applied.

“We have invited the Kimberley Process monitor. We want him to come and certify our diamonds because we are ready,” said Musukutwa.

“His first visit was exploratory and he made some recommendations which we feel have been complied with. In our invitation we indicated we were ready.”

Musukutwa further refuted several media reports that suggested Kimberley Process directives were only partially met, saying both Mbada Holdings and Canadile Miners – the two firms contracted to explore diamonds at Chiadzwa – have met all Kimberley Process requirements.

“We indicated that we were ready for both firms and we are now just awaiting the go-ahead from the monitor in compliance with the KP certification scheme,” he said.

In February, Mbada and Canadile informed the Zimbabwean Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy that they were 100% compliant with Kimberley Process requirements, adding that the delay in securing Kimberley Process certification, which would allow them to sell diamonds harvested in the field, was hindering their operations.

“We have complied with the KP requirements 100%t,” Mbada Board Chairman Dr. Robert Mhlanga told the committee.

His Canadile counterpart, Cougan Matanhire, added: “We have a security system laid down as recommended by the KP. We have complied with all requirements.”

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