News / Africa

Zimbabwe Mines Minister Says Human Rights Groups Tried to Bribe Him

Zimbabwe's mines minister says two international human-rights groups tried to bribe him over Zimbabwe's controversial diamonds in the Marange area in south Eastern Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe Mines Minister Obert Mpofu claimed in the pro-ZANU-PF Sunday Mail in Harare that two international rights organizations, Human Rights Watch and Partnership Africa Canada, tried to "bribe" him at the Kimberley Process Certification conference in Tel Aviv to financially support their work.  Mpofu, who is a top member of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF, is trying to persuade the international regulator, the Kimberley Process, to certify its stockpile of diamonds for export.  Mpofu made his 'bribe' allegation after returning to Zimbabwe from a Kimberley Process conference in Tel Aviv that deadlocked on certification of Zimbabwe's diamonds from the Marange area.

Alan Martin, from Partnership Africa Canada, denied Sunday any bribe was offered to Mpofu.  Martin said civil-rights groups oppose certification of diamonds from the Marange area because they are not compliant with the Kimberley Process, which tries to stop sales of so-called 'blood diamonds."  He said the Kimberley Process monitor, South African Abbey Chikane, who cleared Zimbabwe to export the rough stones from Marange, had ignored smuggling of diamonds from Zimbabwe.

Human-rights groups monitoring the Marange diamonds say they were astonished when respected Israeli diamond analyst Chaim Even-Zohar last week backed Zimbabwe's bid for its diamonds to be certified by the Kimberley Process.  Even-Zohar said if the Zimbabwe diamonds were not exported legally they would all be smuggled out and would upset the prices of diamonds on the international market during a world wide recession.

Even-Zohar said the Kimberley Process is not a human-rights organization and its mandates assumed sovereign and legitimate governments were, as he put it, "OK."  He said the Kimberley Process only has mechanisms to deal with rebel groups using diamonds to oppose or undermine sovereign governments.  Even-Zohar said the Kimberley Process has no mechanism to deal with a country like Zimbabwe, which is itself what he called a "rogue actor."

De Beers diamond group executive director Jonathan Oppenheimer said Sunday there is "concern" over diamond mining in Zimbabwe, but there is no "blood diamond conflic" and there is a legitimate government in place in Harare.  He said the Kimberley Process is therefore in a difficult position.

Human Rights Watch claims harassment is continuing in Marange and that some informal miners are forced to hand over any rough stones they find to members of Mr. Mugabe's army.  Its recent report says those stones are then sold on the black market.

Civil rights groups say many miners have been killed by Mr. Mugabe's security forces in the Marange diamond fields.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More