The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela) said it has intensified the campaign to push government to enact a Diamond Act to promote transparency, public accountability and compliance with the Kimberly Processing Certification Scheme (KPCS).
Report by Obey Manayiti Staff Reporter
Addressing journalists in Mutare over the weekend, Zela’s national projects coordinator Shamiso Mtisi said following the recent adoption of a diamond policy, the Mines ministry should now speed up the enactment of the Diamond Act to plug holes in the marketing of gems.
Mtisi is also KPCS focal person for Zimbabwe.
“The Ministry of Mines has come up with the diamond policy which stipulates that there should be a diamond Act said, Mtisi.
“The Diamond Act must require all revenues and payments made by mining and diamond trading companies and received by government to be disclosed by government or mining companies in a publicly accessible manner and in a disaggregated manner.
“All contracts signed by government with private investors must be made public and possibly posted on a government website for easy access to members of the public,” he said.
Zela’s call comes at a time when Finance minister Tendai Biti has repeatedly accused diamond mining companies of not remitting their contributions to the Treasury. In his 2012 National Budget, Biti was forced to downscale the budget after his projected income from diamond sales went up in smoke.
If adopted, the Diamond Act, according to ZELA, will empower the Finance minister to monitor all diamond sales.
Although the policy is yet to be made public, we are pushing for the adoption of the Diamond Act as soon as possible to maintain a semblance of order in the diamond sector