By Tichaona Kurewa
ZIMBABWE is optimistic of being re-certified to freely trade diamonds when the Kimberley Process (KP), review team assesses compliance to set procedures next month.
The last KP review on Zimbabwe was in 2012.The forthcoming review will enable Zimbabwe to present in detail progress the country made in improving diamond mining since the last review.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Honourable Chitando said the country is ready for the Kimberley Process (KP) review.
“We are very prepared, I think first and foremost it’s a review to check compliance with KP requirements so Zimbabwe has made compliant, we have maintained full compliance mechanism all the time, having said that, we have made an internal local mock assessment which came out very good. We are very optimistic. It’s a good honour for Zimbabwe, we are currently vice chairman, of KP which is huge honour for Zimbabwe and bigger honour for Zimbabwe to be chairman of KP,” said Minister Chitando.
Executive Director Centre for natural Resource Governance Farai Maguwu is upbeat over prospects of diamond mining in Zimbabwe being granted certification to freely trade in diamonds.
“We have to acknowledge that there has been significant progress, lately we have noted that some of the concerns we have is at the local level where the diamonds are coming from and right now we know that the government is in the process of issuing concession to the community that will be operated by Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company and if that happens, we are going to see massive investment in the community health, educations road infrastructure. We also had seen a reduction in the number of cases of human rights violation. We have also noticed the recreation of the KP tripartite structure at the national level where government, industry and civil society regularly meet to review the situation on the ground, so it’s no longer about concealing what is happening on the ground but rather, a platform where civil society can bring up issues with the government and with the companies so that there can be a collaborated approach towards addressing the challenges in Marange, so I’m quite happy with the progress that has been made, we are on the right road, there is a lot that we can still do but we are ready with the direction that we have taken,” said Executive Director Maguwu.
In 2020, Zimbabwe’s diamond production amounted to 2.7 million carats this was an increase of 28.6 percent compared to the previous year and the country is ranked eighth among the world’s largest diamond producers.