THE stand-off between Zimbabwe and the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) resulted in unity unseen among Zimbabweans. From men and women in the streets of Zimbabwe to bloggers, facebook and twitter users among others, Zimbabweans were united in supporting the government in the quest to have Zimbabwe diamonds KPCS certified.
Although KPCS has given a conditional okay for Zimbabwe to sell some of the diamonds it holds, it is in the interest of all Zimbabweans to have Obert Mpofu call a press conference and tell us how much of the US$1,7 billion worth of gems Zimbabwe has been allowed to sell. It is also in Zimbabweans’ interest to ensure that once the sale is done all funds are accounted for and reach Treasury from where individual ministerial allocations can be made.
Individual ministries should also report back on how the funds allocated to them were utilised. Yet as Zimbabweans we should not rest and say the job is done. We should continue the same campaign and unity we showed during the campaign to have diamonds sold under the KPCS umbrella. This is because in September 2010, a review will be done that should see the Marange gems being given a clean bill of health.
Surprisingly, no NGO or government opposed to KPCS certification of Zimbabwe diamonds called for panners to be removed from Marange. As such it may be in our interest to have the army, unpopular as it is, remain in Marange. Zimbabwe as a country calls the shots on where and how it deploys its army. This is not a decision of some foreign organisation or government that will not lose family and friends should civil war break out.
As for the Farai Maguwu case, it is in our interest as Zimbabweans to see to it that he is given a fair trial. He is innocent until proven guilty and the state should not drop the charges because some foreign NGO or government demands it. Even Maguwu himself should demand to be cleared by a court of law in Zimbabwe rather than hope that charges are dropped. This is a serious case and Zimbabweans concerned about peace and security would like to see justice prevail because if Maguwu did put us at risk then he should face the music.
I wish to conclude by urging government to reach an out-of-court settlement with ACR over Marange claims and also ensure that mineral resources discovered in Zimbabwe are government-controlled as is happening with oil in the Middle East.