Global Witness, a British non-governmental organisation, which quit the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme after the readmission of Zimbabwe to the diamond body produced a report on Valentine’s Day calling on the inclusive government to pass legislation banning serving members of the security services from controlling or owning mining companies.
The report entitled: Diamonds; A Good Deal for Zimbabwe? raised questions about the ownership of two diamonds companies operating in Marange- Anjin and Mbada.
The organisation said the companies, which are both in joint ventures with the State-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, were being run by directors with military connections and this created “opportunities for off-budget funding of the security sector”.
It said there was a real risk that revenues from these mining companies could be used to finance violence in future elections.
Global Witness said the inclusive government should review all contracts in the Marange diamond fields and audit allocation procedures and operations conducted so far to see whether they represent a good deal for Zimbabwe.
Global Witness’s report comes at a time when diamonds from Zimbabwe are sending jitters in the market and prices have plummeted because of the influx from Marange.
We will be publishing the entire Global Witness report on Monday.