The warning comes after the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Obert Mpofu vowed to export the gems from Marange in Manicaland province despite lack of consensus on the matter at a KP meeting held in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) last month.
“We will continue to export (diamonds) from Mbada, Marange Resources including Anjin which is now ready to export and all the new mines that will commence production in the Marange area,” Mpofu told the DRC meeting.
But the director of the Mutare- based Centre for Research and Development (CRD) Farai Maguwu, who attended the same meeting, said diamonds that are traded secretly, as Zimbabwe intends to do, were undervalued and would benefit third parties as opposed to the producers.
“In the absence of a clear agreement, Marange diamonds may continue to be traded secretly, thereby prejudicing the economic interests of Zimbabwe,” Maguwu said.
Maguwu said a closed door meeting of key stakeholders, held after Mpofu’s speech in DRC, agreed that Mbada and Marange Resources should be allowed to export diamonds but disagreed on the continuing monitoring of compliance of the two mine sites by the KPCS.
However, KPCS chairperson Mathieu Yamba of the DRC, issued a notice, known as the “Second Yamba Text” endorsing the exports of diamonds from the two mining sites.
This resulted in the emergence of fault lines in the Kimberley Process with South Africa, Namibia and Angola being vocal in supporting Zimbabwe’s fight against supervised exports.
However, the US and European Union (EU) want to continue the supervision of production and exports of the diamonds. All these countries are campaigning for the monitoring of gems from Marange.