Sunday, November 4, 2012

Monitor Calls Zimbabwe Diamonds 'Model', Stirs Ire

A Kimberley Process monitor announced that Zimbabwe's diamond mining operations meet and exceed international standards, All Africa reports. A human rights group dismissed the announcement and insisted that mining operations there are wholly suspect.
Abbey Chikane, the KP monitor who will be speaking at Zimbabwe's diamond industry conference later this month, told Zimbabwe's state-run journal The Herald that all diamond mines in the country "stand as a model for many diamond-producing countries"
Conflict diamond critics Global Witness took issue with Chikane's blanket statement, pointing to irregularities at diamond mines in Chiadzwa. GW campaigner Mike Davis said that Zimbabwe's diamond industry could only be considered a "model" if the KP constrained their criteria to technical issues only.
Davis accused President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party of pilfering profits from Chiadzwa mines to fund their re-election campaign, according to All Africa. Davis contended that Chikane's statement is a sign that in practice, the Kimberley Process provides a "fig leaf of legitimacy" for illegitimate practices.

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