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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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 Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid