Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 00:00
AT a time when the nation is celebrating the decision by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme giving the country the greenlight to sell its diamonds, MDC-T legislator for Bulawayo Central Mr Eddie Cross on Monday said Zimbabwe should have remained banned from trading its Marange gems.
Yesterday, Mr Cross - an MDC-T national executive member - confirmed writing the article and maintained that the country should not have been allowed to trade in its diamonds.
Last week, MDC-T applauded the KP for allowing the country to sell its diamonds, while on Tuesday the party's leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai suggested that revenue from diamond sales could be used to pay civil servants their bonuses and other national obligations.
In an opinion piece posted on the Internet, the Bulawayo Central House of Assembly representative, claimed that allowing Zimbabwe the right to sell its diamonds would destabilise the country and the whole Sadc region.
He alleges looting of Marange diamonds by Zanu-PF, senior civil servants and the Chinese.
"My own view is that this qualified approval of membership of the Kimberly Club is premature.
"Not only is the above ample evidence that on both counts we fall far short of the standards required, but in addition there is the issue of whether or not we comply with all the other criteria laid down for membership," Mr Cross said.
He added: "Forget the allegations about human rights abuse and slave labour, those sorts of issues play little role in the club.
"It's the possible use of these massive resources to undermine democratic States and the democratic basis of the Zimbabwe state that is critical."
Mr Cross claimed to have carried investigations that pointed to heavy looting by the State apparatus.
"There is now ample evidence that the people who control the diamond fields in Marange are linked to four main groups - senior figures in Zanu PF, senior figures in the Zimbabwe security establishment and a shadowy group of mafia style figures who operate on the edge of global diamond and illegal gun running substructures.
"The fourth shadowy group about which nothing is known are the Chinese Government related agencies operating on the fields using Chinese labour; this last group is also tied in with the Zimbabwe security establishment," he said.
Mr Cross claimed security agents were building luxurious houses in cities around the country using proceeds from diamond sales. He said such types of houses were found mainly in South Africa's Sandton.
"But it does not end there, this is enough money to destabilise regional governments that differ with the Zanu-PF leadership who control the flow of diamonds and the revenues that emanates from them.
"It is a real threat to the whole of the GPA process into which the region has put so much time and other resources in the hope that they might resolve our on-going and interminable crisis. It's enough money to destabilise South Africa," Mr Cross added.
He said this should have been the main reason "why we should be denied access to the Kimberly Club".