News / Africa

    Zimbabwe Diamond Investigator's Bail Delayed

    Farai Maguwu, who has been investigating human rights abuses in diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe will miss a key meeting of the international diamond regulator, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in Tel Aviv Monday, because he remains in detention in a hospital in Harare.

    Maguwu was arrested after allegedly handing a secret document to an official of the Kimberley Process monitoring Zimbabwe's controversial diamond fields.

    Human rights activist Farai Maguwu was arrested in Mutare, the capital of the eastern Manicaland Province on June 3.

    For more than two years he has been investigating many allegations of human rights abuses by security forces against civilians or informal miners digging in diamond fields in the Marange area within the Manicaland province.

    He claimed in a documentary broadcast on South African Broadcasting Corporation earlier this year that Zimbabwe's security forces had killed about 400 civilians who worked in the mines during a military campaign against them in late 2008.

    The Kimberley Process was set up six years ago to stop the sale of conflict or "blood" diamonds.

    According to a report by South African Abbey Chikane, appointed by the Kimberley Process to monitor Zimbabwe's diamonds, Maguwu gave him a top secret document when they met in Zimbabwe late last month.

    In Chikane's report, leaked to the media this week, he says Maguwu told him that the document had been obtained "fraudulently."

    The document allegedly contains details about  military campaigns in the diamond fields.

    Chikane states further in his report that after reading the document, he sought legal advice in Harare and said he was informed he could be prosecuted for being found in possession of a stolen secret document.

    Days later Maguwu was arrested.

    Chikane said this week that he was not a "freedom fighter but an international monitor" and that Maguwu's actions had endangered his own safety and threatened the integrity of the Kimberley Process.

    Maguwu, who has denied allegations that he handed Chikane any secret document,  has been moved from police cells to a private hospital in Harare and claims through his lawyers that he has been mistreated by the police.

    The attorney-general's office said he faces charges of publishing and communicating statements prejudicial to the state and attempted to get bail this week.

    His bail application was delayed until the coming week.

    The Kimberly Process will on Monday consider Chikane's  report on Zimbabwe. Human rights groups want Zimbabwe suspended from the Kimberley Process citing human rights abuses. They also criticized Chikane's actions following his meeting with Maguwu.

    State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Thursday that the delay on a bail decision for Maguwu will prevent him from participating in the Kimberley Process meeting in Israel.

    Toner says Maguwu has rigorously investigated diamond field rights violations.

    Toner says the United States expects Zimbabwe to treat Maguwu fairly and to quickly review his case.

    A report in Friday's Herald newspaper in Zimbabwe, which supports President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF,  says even though Zimbabwe's diamonds have not yet been cleared for export by the Kimberley Process, substantial numbers of valuable stones have already been sold to buyers in the United Kingdom and Belgium.


    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora