An international network of diamond buyers and suppliers has advised its members to boycott diamonds from Chiadzwa fields threatening to blacklist and expel those who did not take heed of its warning.
The New York-based Rapaport Diamond Trading Network, said members found to have knowingly offered diamonds from Chiadzwa for sale on its network would be expelled and their names publicly communicated.
The network connects thousands of some of the biggest diamond suppliers and buyers around the world and is a key player on the world diamond market, generating the indexes from which diamond prices are derived.
According to Rapaport, the Kimberley Process (KP) did not have a mandate to deny its certification for diamonds involved in human rights violations and, therefore, there was no guarantee that Chiadzwa diamonds with KP certification were free of human rights violations.
It said although trading of Chiadzwa diamonds may be legal in certain jurisdictions, companies owning or selling the diamonds were sanctioned by the United States, European Union (EU), and the United Kingdom governments “and the trading being conducted by citizens of these countries may be illegal.”
“Rapaport strongly advises all diamond buyers not to trade in KP-certified diamonds from Marange and to request written assurance from their suppliers that their diamonds have not been sourced from Marange,” the group said in a statement.
“RapNet, the Rapaport Diamond Trading Network, will not allow the trading of any diamonds sourced from Marange, Zimbabwe.
“Members found to have knowingly offered Marange diamonds for sale on RapNet will be expelled and their names will be publicly communicated.”
The warning comes as the KP has just overseen the auctioning of 900 000 carats of rough diamonds from Chiadzwa. The auction earned the country $72 million.
The government says it has stockpiled close to six million carats of diamonds.
Another auction will be conducted next month.
The KP had since last November blacklisted diamonds from Chiadzwa citing human rights abuses by security forces guarding the fields.
The ban was lifted last month after the KP monitor Abbey Chikane reported the country had met minimum requirements set by the world diamond watchdog.
The government argues no human rights abuses were committed at Chiadzwa accusing what it calls its detractors of misinformation.