Chinese sell Zimbabwe diamonds

2011-12-06 22:34

Harare - The first auction of gems from a Zimbabwean diamond field where the military stands accused of carrying out abuses was under way on Tuesday, a month after an international ban on sourcing precious stones from the area was lifted.

The diamonds were being offered for sale in Harare by Anjin Investments, a joint venture between a Chinese state-owned mining company and the Zimbabwe army, a top government official was quoted as saying in the state-run Herald newspaper.

According to the paper, the sale began on Monday. Last month the Kimberley Process (KP), an international regulatory system, removed Marange fields from its list of illegal sources, though rights groups say abuses still continue there.

Some 200 people were killed during a bloody crackdown by security forces against illegal diggers four years ago.

On Monday, Global Witness Foundation, the international pressure group lobbying against the use of diamonds allegedly used to fuel wars in Africa, declared it was withdrawing from the KP.

"The KP has failed to deal with the trade in conflict diamonds from Ivory Coast, breaches of the rules by Venezuela and diamonds fuelling corruption and state-sponsored violence in Zimbabwe," said GWF director Charmian Gooch.

The approval of sales from Marange "has turned an international conflict prevention mechanism into a cynical corporate accreditation scheme", Gooch said.

The government shrugged off the group's charges, with the Minister of Mines Obert Mpofu saying Global Witness "survived on opposing the trading of Zimbabwe diamonds on the international market. Now that Zimbabwe has been fully admitted, they have no work to do."

Harare has adopted a "Look East" economic policy and favours Chinese companies with good terms for business deals.

  • rbczovczov - 2011-12-07 08:41

    What business does the army have in mining the country's diamonds? Aren't these diamonds mines suppose to be under the supervision of the Ministry of Mines? Something fishy going on here.

  • Jacques - 2011-12-07 08:44

    @kolobe come one mate. How can you make such stupid comments. Yes the West is to blame for a lot but they have also tried their utmost and supported Africa for a long time. Soon you will blame China for the mass starvation in Africa when it is Africa leaders benefiting from Chinese deals. Lets face it Africa does not care for Africa it cares for individual pockets of wealth to the detriment of it people Chinese reject climate law. They fish in illegal waters. Part of most of the Rhino poaching. Colonisation deals such as in Ghana and most of African states. They tried a deal to build and own the Bridge between FreeTown Sierra Leone and the airport which would have locked the Port under their controll. WTF. They own most of the mining deals thru investment sceams such as building roads and royal homes and palaces over Africa which falls apart within one year. I see China is in for a very hard time in th near future. Mother Nature is whatching you. No standards and fast becoming the most disrespected nation in the world. Kolobe wake up. You can hate whites but you making a grave mistake and are falling for Chinese propoganda.

  • erneyb - 2011-12-07 11:15

    "joint venture between a Chinese state-owned company and the ZIMBABWE ARMY" ?????? Very tactical move by Mad Bob to keep the army on his side in a bankrupt, plundered country. Suppose army/ZANU PF salaries gets subsidised from the sale of diamonds.

  • Msholozi - 2011-12-07 13:57

    our chinese comrades are helping us reparring the scars of created by imperialist

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