The Civil Society members include Human Rights Watch, Global Witness, Partnership Africa/Canada and The Green Advocates. The visit by the team follows a Kimberly Process inter-seasonal meeting held in Windhoek, Namibia from June 23 – 25, which was attended by the Civil Society.
In a joint statement presented to the team, Civil Society groups raised grave concerns over the military operations at the diamond field. They argued that the government of Zimbabwe was deploying military personnel at the diamond field as a cost-cutting measure on its ballooning salary scale. The Civil Society said it was a way of giving the army a source of income since the government had no money to pay them.
“The government knows that if the army personnel is deployed at the diamond field they might embark on illegal mining. Hence, we think that the government is doing this
as a way of reducing pressure to pay the soldiers,” read the statement.
The Civil Society then recommended the immediate removal of the military from
the diamond field.
The Kimberly Process team said that the Kimberly Review Mission should be
left to complete its mandate before a position was taken.Post published in: Politics