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  • Marange, Chiadzwa and other diamond fields and the Kimberley Process - Index of articles

  • CRD calls on Mines Minister Obert Mpofu to resign
    Centre for Research and Development
    April 27, 2011

    On Friday 22 April 2011 India's Directorate of Revenue Intelligence arrested two people, Zohra Desai and Prema Desai for smuggling a 9.72 KGs / 48 663 carats consignment of rough diamonds from Marange. The diamonds are valued at USD 2 million. The Center for Research and Development (CRD) wishes to thank the government and the people of India for intercepting diamonds that had been illegally smuggled from Zimbabwe.

    This is not the first time Marange diamonds without KP certificates have been seized abroad. In September 2010 a consignment of 4000 carats of rough diamonds was reportedly seized by the United Arab Emirates and returned to Zimbabwe. Other parcels suspected to have originated from Marange were seized in Israel and Belgium in 2010. The large quantities of diamonds intercepted suggest that this could be the work of a well coordinated syndicate involving well placed people with tremendous power in the mining companies and in government. The fact that government was not aware or pretended not to be aware of any missing diamonds despite such heavy losses reveals shocking levels of incompetency and /or corruption.

    The failure by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to improve security and transparency throughout the diamond supply chain is prejudicing the government of Zimbabwe of revenue that could make a difference in the lives of the suffering Zimbabwean people, in particular our loyal and hard working civil servants. CRD holds the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, as head of the responsible Ministry, accountable for the losses.

    The Center for Research and Development calls on:

    • Parliament of Zimbabwe and Cabinet to institute a thorough investigation into the continued smuggling of diamonds from Zimbabwe.
    • The Minister of Mines and Mining Development to take full responsibility for the continued loss of revenue due to weak security throughout the diamond supply chain and unlicensed diamond mining activities, mainly due to his apparent failure to implement the Joint Work Plan developed by Zimbabwe and the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme at Swakopmund, Namibia, in November 2009.
    • The Minister of Mines and Mining Development to apologize to the Head of State and Government, who is also Commander in Chief of Zimbabwe's Defense Forces, His Excellency President R.G Mugabe, for betraying the trust he invested in him when he appointed him Cabinet Minister.
    • The Minister of Mines and Mining Development to publicly apologize for letting down the nation and resign with immediate effect. This is in the best interest of government, the people of Zimbabwe and the diamond industry. We hold the view that self-respecting, ethical, professional and well meaning people voluntarily resign when they perform way below expectations, especially when they occupy public offices.
    • Law enforcement agents to leave no stone unturned in bringing the culprits to book, irrespective of their positions in government, political affiliation, gender or nationality.
    • Zimbabweans not to participate in illicit diamond activities and to report any suspicious diamond deals to the nearest Police Station or government institutions.
    • The SADC region, in particular Mozambique and South Africa, to emulate India by taking tough action against individuals and syndicates caught in illegal possession of (Marange) diamonds.
      Civil society in the region and in the world to investigate, name and shame individuals, syndicates, companies and governments involved in the plunder of Marange diamonds.

    Visit the Centre for Research and Development fact sheet

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