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Marange, Chiadzwa and other diamond fields and the Kimberley Process - Index of articles
security at Canadile costing Zimbabwe
for Research and Development
May 10, 2010
at Canadile Miners plant in Chiadzwa
are costing Zimbabwe about 2000 carats per day, the Center for Research
and Development (CRD) can reveal. Company employees have overtaken
illegal panners and soldiers in supplying diamonds to local and
foreign buyers who descend on Chiadzwa daily in search of the precious
stones. Much of the stones are stolen at the Density Medium Separator,
popularly known as The Plant.
There are no security
cameras on the Density Medium Separator that separates diamonds
from the soil. Ephraim Moabi, A South African national employed
by Canadile who operates the Density Medium Separator has been having
a field day looting diamonds from the machine. Mesmerised by his
fortunes, Moabi started picturing himself with diamonds in his hands
and on his mouth from his mobile phone, perhaps intending to show
his colleagues across the border how one can easily get reach north
of the Limpompo. This is despite the fact that cameras and cell
phones are banned from the plant.
Weeks of intensive investigations
by the CRD revealed that whilst there are cameras at the sorting
department where diamonds are graded, there are no cameras at the
plant. This enables workers at the plant, like Moabi, to loot diamonds.
When the camera which he used to take pictures of himself was caught
by a security guard, Ephraim Moabi allegedly offered him USD10 000,
prompting the security guard to be keen to scrutinize the phone.
Moabi was initially taken to a military base to be tortured but
management changed its mind fearing that this may spark a diplomatic
row with South Africa since he is a South African national. He pleaded
innocence, saying he was just 'playing with the diamonds'. The Canadile
policy is that no worker is allowed to touch any diamond at the
Density Medium Separator since everything is done by the machine
at that stage.
There is also a high
possibility that Moabi is in the habit of swallowing diamonds, as
is the habit with drug traffickers, to evade security checks. Several
panners have resorted to swallowing diamonds when under attack or
when they chose to hide a stone from their syndicates. It is not
clear why Moabi chose to picture one of the diamonds on his mouth.
on the increase
The CRD observed that
on average 60 buyers are descending on Chiadzwa to buy diamonds
daily. The buyers gather at Mashukashuka, Muchena and Tenda business
centres where company employees and syndicates operated by soldiers
sell their diamonds. We also witnessed that at every shift (changeover
of staff) buyers descend on Hot Springs resort and Mutsago business
area where they intercept Canadile employees who would have smuggled
diamonds. Diamonds are being sold as parcels, meaning that dealers
put together a consortium of clear and rough diamonds for a certain
amount. An average parcel weighs between 10 and 30 carats. Bothwell
Nhlanhla, the most prominent dealer who has established connections
with security officials around Chiadzwa was spotted buying diamonds
from Canadile employees and soldiers daily. Nearly every worker
stationed at the plant is involved in diamond smuggling. Staff at
the plant are constantly being fired for stealing diamonds. Diamond
smuggling involves some security personnel who are making fortunes
by allowing employees to escape with diamonds in return for cash.
At the sorting Centre
there is some degree of security, with a few security cameras fixed
in the room. However it was also reported that some company employees
at the sorting centre have a tendency of swaying the security cameras
whilst they steal diamonds. In January two Canadile bosses Komalin
Pakirisamy and V Naidoo were arrested after they were caught with
63 gems of clear diamonds in their car. They were caught whilst
attempting to leave the diamond fields. The KP monitor, Mr Abbey
Chikane also expressed reservations with the security system at
Canadile Miners. The porous security at Canadile is one of the several
indicators of the failure by Zimbabwe to meet the minimum standards
of the KPCS. The refusal by Mines Minister Obert Mpofu to allow
the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy to inspect
the diamond fields indicate a massive cover up for shocking irregularities
obtaining in Marange diamond fields. It also means it may be long
before Marange diamonds can start contributing to the national economy.
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