THE African Diamond Council (ADC) says Zimbabwe can be considered a diamond success story after the country managed to auction its gems on international markets at a time when it was under sanctions from the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme. ADC chairman Dr Andre’ Jackson said this last week in a speech at the Angola centenary diamond conference in Luanda during which he attacked the Kimberly Process for being “obsessed” with dominating African diamond producers.
In expressing numerous reservations of ADC and the Africa Diamond Producers Association over KP’s detrimental stance against African diamond producers, he said the ADC would seek eradication of the KPCS.
He also said ADC would pursue an alternative system that “morally” embraces a more comprehensive definition that could end suffering in the global diamond industry.
Dr Jackson said throughout the year, “our united ruling body makes several judicious propositions in the direction of other associated industry bureaucracies”.
But he said whenever apparent and inattentive ambiguities existed within aspirant fraternal structures distinctively designed to deter success and sovereignty in African diamond industry, ADC members were encouraged to fulfill their strategic objectives until acknowledged oversight had been passably rectified.
“This circumstance is the very reason why Zimbabwe’s diamond sector could not be held accountable for external sales during the Kimberly Process sanctions and it’s also why Zimbabwe can be considered a diamond success story,” said Dr Jackson.
The ADC boss was speaking in reference to a period when the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme “unjustifiably” banned trade in diamonds originating from Zimbabwe.
KP alleged human rights abuses after the Government took security measures to restore sanity in the Chiadzwa diamond fields in the wake of the diamond rush.
During the period of the ban by the KP, which regulates international trade in diamonds to prevent abuse of blood diamonds to fund illegal wars, Zimbabwe had difficulty selling its diamonds to the outside world, yet it needed funding the most.
Zimbabwe continued to lobby other diamond-producing countries and exposed the Western world’s machinations to discredit its gems over differences on other strategic and political issues and sought to prevent the country from freely trading in its diamonds.
Dr Jackson said the KP was “malignant” of the disaster-prone certification scheme being exploited to subtly enlist and infect gullible supporters.
He said KP lacked legitimate staff and was supported by a life support system not designed to regulate self-proclaimed reprobates who claim to oversee the global diamond industry.
He said since KP’s inception, African diamond producers had determined that non- diamond-producing nations insistently work to intolerably prop up and possess more control over the nations that produce diamonds, particularly in Africa.
Dr Jackson said that last year, when the US served as the chairperson of the KP, efforts were made to introduce and establish a permanent administrative office inside the US.
But Dr Jackson said ADC members strongly opposed and would never consent to an arrangement where a non-diamond producing nation administered “our industry”.
He added that the KP’s willingness or aversion to broaden the “blood/conflict diamond” definition would result in undesirable self-enforcement within foreign economies profiting from imported rough diamonds from Africa and exported polished diamonds.
Dr Jackson said ADC had always believed that its members should ethically adhere to laws, policies and regulations that have been internationally corroborated.
He added that African diamond-producing countries were unified and Angola’s notable success in the global diamond industry was best validated through Endiama’s success. Endiama is the Angola Government’s national diamond mining company.
Dr Jackson said that ADC would “incessantly demonstrate intransigence” when non-diamond producing nations took the lead to institute and administer disproportionate rules and regulations for Africa’s diamond industry to adhere to.