Firm embargoes Chiadzwa diamonds

An international diamond company, MasterCut, has slapped a ban on the use of diamonds from Chiadzwa in its jewellery, arguing human rights violations still persist at the diamond fields in Marange.
The firm has also urged other diamond manufacturers to ban gems from the controversial Chiadzwa fields.
“We believe industry leadership is required to maintain consumer confidence, and would call on other diamond brands to confirm no Zimbabwean diamonds are being used in their diamond jewellery,” said James Maxwell, group marketing and strategy director of the UK-based jewellery maker. “Diamonds should be a force of good for Africa. Botswana has been a role model in sub-Saharan Africa, where it has demonstrated how diamond revenue can be channelled back into infrastructure, healthcare and education.”
Maxwell added: “We look forward to the time when we can buy from Zimbabwe, when diamonds are shown to be demonstrably beneficial to the country.”
The latest call comes days after the United States-based Rapaport Diamond Trading Network, an international network of more than 10 000 diamond buyers and suppliers, vowed to expel any member who knowingly trades gems from Chiadzwa.
But the Zimbabwean government has said it was not worried about such calls with Obert Mpofu, the mines minister, saying the country would take business elsewhere.
“If they mobilise other nations to ban our gems, then we will be left with no other options other than embarking on the Look East Policy, which over the past 10 years kept the country moving despite illegal sanctions,” Mpofu said.
“We will sell our stones to countries where they are welcome. We have countries like China, Malaysia, Russia, India, and other Asian countries where we can market our diamonds.” Zimbabwe’s diamonds were certified in July by the Kimberley Process after a protracted dispute with the international diamond watchdog over the status of the precious minerals. The country sold
90 000 carats three weeks ago and raked in $72 million. The agreement allows two supervised exports of diamonds from Chiadzwa by September 6.

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