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Zim shakes diamond monitors

Nov 30 2012 14:32
Malcom Sharara, Fin24's correspondent in Zimbabwe

Harare - Zimbabwe’s Marange diamonds were finally cleared by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) when the grouping decided to withdraw monitors and allow unhindered exports.

The decision means the government would now sign Marange export certificates without having to consult KPCS monitors Abbey Chikane and Mark van Bockstael.

According to a report on Thursday in the state run newspaper The Herald, the KPCS’ Working Group on Monitoring said Zimbabwe had fulfilled all the requirements to certify its own diamond exports.

WGM said the Zimbabwean government had shown full transparency and accountability by ensuring that 15% of royalties in Marange were being directly channelled to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.

KP monitor Van Bockstael presented a positive report, detailing the work that Zimbabwe has undertaken to attain full compliance with the diamond watchdog's rules.

He told the meeting that Zimra directly gets a 15% royalty from the Marange output, putting to rest allegations that money from diamond proceeds was not being remitted to treasury.

The money goes straight into the Zimra account.

On the other contentious issue, namely the campaign by the United States to push for the re-definition of "conflict diamonds", the KP's Working Group on Reform said the matter could not be concluded at the plenary.

Effectively, the issue has been deferred to next year's KP inter-sessional meeting in South Africa.

 - Fin24


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