|No room for EU in Chiadzwa|
|Monday, 02 July 2012 17:04|
The visit therefore became a window of opportunity for the EU delegation to scrounge for pertinent information that will suitably instruct their policy formulations on Zimbabwe. Interestingly, the tour also came high on the heels of re-engagement meetings between Zimbabwe and the EU where the Western grouping had promised to revisit the callous illegal economic sanctions regime it imposed on our country.
We naturally took the visit to Chiadzwa as one of those efforts by the EU to build bridges with Zimbabwe. But alas, after the visit the EU representative to Zimbabwe, Ambassador Aldo Dell’Ariccia said that the visit had nothing to do with the “restrictions (sanctions) or KP:, but was just a “familiarisation tour”.
It came as no surprise therefore that the EU ambassador was later quoted in the media saying, “We note that there is a problem of transparency in the mining sector’s revenues, which is reflected in the position that the Zimbabwe minister of finance has expressed publicly.” We cannot help, but vehemently ask how the delegation came to that lopsided conclusion. Do they have any shred of evidence from their visit to Chiadzwa that justifies their claim that diamond operations were muddied by lack of transparency and accountability?
Surprisingly, the EU delegation has witnessed that transparency and accountability of diamond output are strictly guarded by officials from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Minerals Unit and other private security organisations resident at diamond mines in Marange diamond.
when his officials are permanently on the ground to verify and certify diamond output.
During the visit by the EU envoys, Munyaradzi Machacha of Anjin gave a hint as to why Biti thinks there is corruption in the extraction and promotion of diamonds at Chiadzwa. Machacha emphatically revealed that Minister Biti erred in his budget estimations when he computed that diamond revenue will contribute US$600 million to treasury on the assumption that a carat of diamond is worth US$1 300, when in actual fact its average value is US$60. Where in the world is a carat of diamond sold at US$1 300?
It is therefore evident that the alleged lack of transparency in the diamond sector is actually a well choreographed mathematical misdemeanour meant to perpetuate the stage managed vilification of the Chiadzwa diamonds for some regime change purposes.
The intention is to continuously pockmark these diamonds so as to justify their exclusion from international trade and thus subsequently deliver debilitating blows on the struggling economy of Zimbabwe, which was about to recover on the strength of expected revenue from these gems.
This became vividly clear when Ambassador Dell’ Ariccio offered the EU’s unsolicited inspection support to the country’s diamond operations.
This is despite Zimbabwe having received a pat in the back from the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) inspectors for meeting the diamond body’s minimum requirements, which included its inspection mechanisms.
So what would the EU really want to “update or upgrade” when everything has been certified to be up to date? The EU is fighting to scuttle our diamond industry and therefore has no place in Chiadzwa.