News / Africa

Zimbabwe's Controversial Diamonds Not for Sale

Peta Thornycroft

A Zimbabwe judge has denied an urgent appeal by the diamond mining company African Consolidated Resources to block a controversial sale of diamonds.  Despite initial reports by state-controlled media in Harare that the ruling lifted a two-month ban on the sale of Zimbabwe's diamonds, a higher court's original order remains in effect.

Judge Ebrahim Patel ruled last week that there was no urgent need for the High Court to hear African Consolidated Resources' appeal for an order halting the sale of diamonds extracted from the Marange area in eastern Zimbabwe.

The judge had been asked to hear the appeal as a matter of urgency, and he confined his ruling to that aspect of the case.  He was not asked, and therefore made no ruling specifically about the sale of the diamonds, which are currently held for safekeeping at the country's central bank, by order of the Supreme Court.

African Consolidated Resources said in court filings that urgent consideration of its appeal was necessary because the company expected the diamonds would certified for sale this month by a monitor from the Kimberley Process, which seeks to stop sales of conflict diamonds.

The monitor, South African Abbey Chikane, said in a written report last month that he intended to return to Zimbabwe in April to see whether authorities there had remedied a number of  security concerns he had previously identified, and which were preventing certification of the gemstones' legal status.

Reports circulated Tuesday from the Harare Herald newspaper and the Ziana news agency, both long controlled by President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party, indicated sale of the diamonds was now possible.  African Consolidated Resources said Wednesday those reports were incorrect.

The firm is pursuing its attempt to prevent any sale of the diamonds, but said its appeal will now be heard through the High Court's normal schedule.

ACR's chief executive, Andrew Cranswick, said Wednesday the firm is relying on a Supreme Court ruling two months ago that ordered an immediate halt to all mining in the Marange area, and that any rough stones extracted to date, should be held by the central bank.  However, ACR and other companies servicing mining operations in eastern Zimbabwe say two Zimbabwe companies backed by South African and Mauritian shareholders continue to mine for diamonds despite the Supreme Court ban.

Zimbabwe's controversial diamond fields made international headlines last year when human-rights groups including Global Witness, reported gross human-rights abuses in the Marange area, most of them committed by members of the Zimbabwe security forces.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid