HomeBusinessNo need for KP monitor — Mpofu

No need for KP monitor — Mpofu

This comes amid indications that Chikane wants to quit the job as KP appointed monitor on Zimbabwe.

“Our position is that we have complied and therefore there is no need for a Joint Working Plan and monitors.

“We should be treated like any other compliant state,” Obert Mpofu, Mines and Mining Development Minister said on Friday.

“Once the Joint Working Plan expires, Chikane goes.”

Chikane was appointed KP monitor for Zimbabwe last year following recommendations of a plenary meeting in 2009 which said the country should meet the minimum standards before it could sell the Marange gems.

Last month KP chairman Mathieu Lapfa Lambang Yamba of the Democratic Republic of the Congo gave Zimbabwe the nod to sell the gems.

The move is being resisted by other KP members who allege that the chair had made the decision unilaterally with western countries such the United States, Britain, Germany and Australia calling for the extension of a ban.

However, African and other countries including Russia have opposed the ban on the sale of the diamonds.

Mpofu said it “was a big mistake that we (government) accepted the Joint Working Plan because not only is it unprocedural but against the principles of the KP.”

Mpofu said there is a scramble by people to get a job in Zimbabwe yet they want to frustrate the county’s sale of diamonds.

“We will not allow any person who comes here and want to get a job yet he is behind plans to frustrate the country to sell its diamonds,” Mpofu said.
This comes amid revelations that Simon Gilberts, a British national would replace Chikane as KP monitor on Zimbabwe.

Contacted for comment, Chikane told Standardbusiness the matter between Zimbabwe and the KP is under discussion.

He said Yamba has not given a verdict on the way forward.

He referred further questions to Yamba who could not be reached for comment.

The KP banned Zimbabwe from selling diamonds from Marange in 2009 over allegations of human rights abuses in the extraction of the gems and failure to meet minimum requirements for trading in the precious stones.

But the organisation allowed Zimbabwe to conduct two supervised sales which took place in August and September last year following a report by Chikane that said Harare had met all KP conditions.

The last KP plenary in Jerusalem in November last year failed to reach a decision on Zimbabwe, but the country was however given a conditional agreement to sell its diamonds in January.

However, government declined the offer saying that it wanted to be allowed to sell the gems without conditions since it had met the conditions.

Mpofu said there is no country in Africa which was more compliant   than Zimbabwe and blasted the “country’s detractors using the KP to pursue the anti-Zimbabwe agenda”.

Government hopes revenue from Marange gems will inject cash into the economy in the absence of lines of credit from multilateral institutions.

A new diamond Act would be promulgated to plug the loopholes in the diamond industry and generate more revenue for the economy.

Money from the diamonds is expected to be channeled towards the civil services’ salary increments.

Civil servants ear an average salary of US$225 per month.

Zimbabwe was banned from selling diamonds in 2009 over human rights abuses in the extraction of the gems.

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