New Dispute Breaks Out Over Zimbabwe Gems

diamondsLuanda: The Kimberly Process Certification Scheme intercessional plenary meeting opened in Luanda, Angola, on Tuesday with Zimbabwe and some Western nations and human rights groups renewing their hostilities.

Resource Exploitation Watch chairman, Tafadzwa Musarara, and some government insiders are accusing the West of trying to block trade in Zimbabwean gems alleging that they might be laundered through the sale of diamonds in the United Arab Emirates which is under intense scrutiny.

A report on the global diamond trade published in 2013 by the World Policy Institute exposed how illicit and corrupt deals, facilitated by international groups was resulting in the plundering of Zimbabwe’s diamonds.

A key player in the industry, a Belgian firm called Omega Diamonds, was handed a record breaking fine of $195 million for tax evasion.

The World Policy Institute report details how Omega, by “employing corrupt African autocrats and money-hungry businessmen,” would purchase diamonds of questionable origin for little to no money in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.

Musarara and some senior officials in the Ministry of Mines in Luanda told VOA Studio 7 that Western nations are trying hard to push for that report to be tabled and for Zimbabwe to be sanctioned.

Allan Martin, research director of Partnership Africa Canada said Zimbabwe is exaggerating its claims of victimization.