Global Witness Questions Zim’s KPCS Commitment

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When Zimbabwe’s secretary of mines and mining development, Thankful Musukutwa, canceled a diamond auction as it was getting underway in Harare yesterday, Global Witness welcomed that decision. But the nongovernmental organization (NGO) warned the diamond industry that Zimbabwe must take concrete steps to demonstrate its commitment to cleaning up its diamond sector or risk suspension from the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). 

“If the sale had gone ahead, Zimbabwe would very likely have been in breach of an action plan agreed [upon] at the Kimberley Process plenary in November last year,” a statement from Global Witness noted.

It was previously determined that Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond fields, where the diamonds to be auctioned had been mined, had fallen out of compliance with the Kimberley Process’ (KP) minimum standards.

Annie Dunnebacke, a diamond campaigner for Global Witness, said, “If rough diamonds from Marange had been exported from Zimbabwe without prior inspection by a Kimberley Process monitor, then Zimbabwe would have been in clear violation of the action plan they agreed to at the plenary session in November.” 

Dunnebacke added that Global Witness was “disappointed” that Zimbabwe did not communicate the auction plans to the Kimberley Process. “We are deeply concerned at Zimbabwe’s complete lack of engagement with the Kimberley Process since last year’s plenary session. Their silence jeopardizes the success of the action plan and the viability of a clean future for the Zimbabwean diamond industry.”

The group added that it is imperative for Zimbabwe to work more closely with the KP and demonstrate its willingness to implement meaningful reforms in the diamond sector. If it fails to do so, however, the KP must be ready to take swift and decisive action to suspend Zimbabwe and protect the credibility of the scheme, Global Witness concluded.


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