Chikane under fire over KP report


Global Witness, with headquarters in London, has also questioned the suitability of Abbey Chikane, the KP monitor to Zimbabwe saying his actions during his last visit to the country raised question marks.
“State-sponsored violence and human rights abuses are still taking place in the diamond fields of eastern Zimbabwe, in contrast to claims made in a leaked report from the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme monitor, said Global Witness, in a statement released yesterday.
“We are extremely concerned by the monitor’s report, which directly contradicts information recently obtained by researchers and observers on the ground.”
Global Witness raised concern over with the manner in which a diamond rights reseacher, Farai Maguwu was arrested after he allegedly passed a report containing human rights abuses and smuggling of diamonds from Chiadzwa.
“The fate of Maguwu, who was forced to turn himself in to police after his office and home were raided and members of his family arrested, raises concerns about the way in which the monitor went about his work in Zimbabwe.”
Maguwu has accused Chikane of facilitating his arrest. Chikane however, blames Maguwu saying he put himself in hot soup by “stealing a state security document”.
But Global Witness said Chikane had been warned of the risks involved in meeting Maguwu while accompanied by Zimbabwean government minders and intelligence agents.
“He neglected to take the necessary precautions. This raises serious doubts about his suitability for the role of KP monitor.”
Global Witness said it had serious concerns about the credibility of the report, which recommended that Zimbabwe be allowed to resume diamond exports from the controversial Marange area.
“Lifting the ban on Marange exports would mean letting blood diamonds onto international markets,” the group said.
Global Witness said Zimbabwean authorities must stop all violence in the diamond fields and ensure that members of the military are not illegally involved in exploitation or marketing of diamonds.
“This is a non-negotiable condition for any resumption of trade, the group said, adding, “The monitoring arrangement for Marange should be suspended immediately and no exports permitted until the Zimbabwean government can give credible assurances that people providing information to the Kimberley Process will not be persecuted, and that the scheme’s monitor will not be spied on by security agents.”