Mbada Diamond Company stopped from selling gems

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A premature public announcement by Mbada Diamonds over the sale of Chiadzwa diamonds has sparked a fresh storm over Zimbabwe’s controversial gems.

The announcement to sell 300 000 carats of diamonds sparked a fresh crisis after it emerged that trading rules had been broken.

As a result the government moved swiftly Thursday to stop the highly publicised diamond auction.

Mines permanent secretary Thankful Musukutwa said the government wanted to follow the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme to the letter, including the ruling that all shipments from Marange area would be subject to examination and certification by a KPCS monitor before they were sold.

Musukutwa said that in future diamond sales would “not be made public for security reasons”.

Minerals and Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe general manager Onesimo Mazai Moyo said: “Our internal processes do not have a direct effect to the sales, but what is of importance is the appointment of the KPCS monitor as agreed in Namibia.”

Mbada Diamonds Chairman Robert Mhlanga said: “We are satisfied as an investor that the parcel of diamonds is ready for sale. 300 000 carats are ready for sale and another 300 000 carats will be ready next week. Buyers are already viewing the parcels.”

The sale will only go ahead once all the necessary procedures are carried out in full.