KP complicit in rights abuses

How ironic that the venue for the staging of the Kimberley Process (KP)s latest act of vacillation and abject appeasement towards the Zanu (PF)/Marange mafia had to be Israel.

The home of the Jews who history teaches us should never have suffered genocide at the hands of Adolf Hitler had the world stood up earlier and firmly said no to the dictator.

The old clich is true after all, that we never learn anything from history!

The choices that the diamond industry regulator had to make in Tel Aviv were very clear and simple. The KP either had to maintain an international ban on what are in essence blood diamonds from the Marange mines and insist on transparence, accountability and an end to human rights abuses before the stones could be allowed on the market.

Or the KP could choose to lift the ban imposed last November and by so doing virtually give the elite club of Zanu (PF) politicians, security commanders and their hangers-on a certificate to continue looting a vital national resource to finance a life of unparalleled luxury while the nation starves.

After meeting for three days and extending debate by another day, the KP members emerged from their talks last Thursday to announce that they had failed to reach consensus on whether to allow Zimbabwe to export diamonds mined from Marange and that they would instead review the matter at their next meeting in November.

The delegates “could not reach consensus regarding…the work carried out by the KP monitor to Marange. As such, the meeting ended at an impasse,” KP chairman Boaz Hirsch said in a statement.

And to put it in plain language: the KP is going to do absolutely nothing about the Marange diamonds — at least not until November.

This indecision and inaction by the KP is exactly the opening that the Harare gang fronted by Mines Obert Mpofu wanted.

In fact, Mpofu, after witnessing the dithering by the KP had on day three well before the Tel Aviv meeting was concluded — declared that Harare will be exporting its stockpile of diamonds from Marange, with or without the regulators permission.

Now, in case Mr Boaz and his KP delegates have never heard of these facts that have really been in the public domain for years now, here we re-state them: the Marange

diamond field that is also known as Chiadzwa is the site of smuggling, forced labour and gross human rights abuses. Murder and torture have been committed at Marange.

Diamonds worth millions of dollars have been unearthed from Marange for about four years now but not even a single cent has found its way into the public coffers.

More diamonds will be mined from Marange for export as Mpofu indicated last week and that means more revenue for President Robert Mugabe and his cronies to maintain their stranglehold on Zimbabwe.

Through their failure to act, Boaz and his KP are virtually aiding commission of this evil upon Zimbabweans. History shall expose and shame them in the same way it has those who championed appeasement towards Hitler.

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga

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