Monday, April 09, 2012

(SUNDAY MAIL ZW) European Union bribes minister over Zimbabwe diamonds

COMMENT - The EU bribed one of the members on the KP Certification Process team to give a negative review of Zimbabwe, so that the US State Department and the EU can justify continuing their economic sanctions against Zimbabwe.

European Union bribes minister over Zimbabwe diamonds
Saturday, 07 April 2012 19:18
Brezhnev Malaba

The European Union (EU) corruptly paid a Liberian deputy minister to induce him to compile a false and hostile report on Zimbabwe’s diamond mining sector, The Sunday Mail can exclusively reveal. Investigations by this newspaper have unearthed a sordid paper trail pointing to a scandal that could rock the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KP) to the core and drive a wedge between Western and African members of the grouping.

The Liberian Deputy Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy, Mr Kpandel Fayia, visited Zimbabwe from June 30 to July 4 2009, chairing a KP review mission whose mandate was to assess the country’s compliance with KP minimum requirements in the Chiadzwa diamond fields before mineral exports could be authorised. Apart from assessing overall compliance, the review mission, headed by Mr Fayia, was tasked with assessing the situation in and around the Chiadzwa diamond fields.

But the EU, in a bid to block Zimbabwe’s diamond exports by corruptly influencing the outcome of the review mission’s report, secretly paid Mr Fayia 3 600 euro, with a promise to pay a further 2 400 euro on condition that the Liberian official would meet his end of the bargain by compiling a hostile report which the bloc and its Western partners in the KP would use to bar Zimbabwe’s exports.

A diamond industry analyst, speaking on condition of anonymity, said 6 000 euro (about US$7 800) can be viewed as a modest amount in rich countries but is a fortune in Liberia, where the monthly salaries of civil servants were recently increased to a paltry US$100.

Mr Fayia will be remembered for crying dramatically during his tour when political activists and officials from anti-Zimbabwe non-governmental organisations narrated to him what they alleged were heart-rending human rights violations by the army and police in Chiadzwa.

The Government said the allegations were concocted in a sinister bid to block Zimbabwe’s exports.

After the tour, Mr Fayia and his team wrote a report claiming Zimbabwe was not KP compliant. The report frustrated the Southern African state’s hopes of selling diamonds on the international market.

Mr Fayia’s report, which disappointed Zimbabweans who were looking forward to the authorisation of exports, recommended the “suspension of Zimbabwe from importing or exporting rough diamonds within the KPCS for a period of at least six months but until such time as a KP team determines that minimum standards have been met”.

As The Sunday Mail reveals today, the cat was let out of the bag after EU officials refused to pay Mr Fayia the outstanding 2 400 euro.

Instead, they have offered to pay him 61 euro, the amount he spent in mailing documents to EU headquarters in Brussels through DHL. Mr Fayia has responded angrily, demanding the promised money and accusing the EU of racism.

Contacted for comment yesterday, the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Dr Obert Mpofu, said the matter has exposed the “duplicity and hypocrisy of some KPCS members”.

“These are the obstacles that Zimbabwe has had to overcome in our quest to sell diamonds, against all odds. The KPCS has been infiltrated by agents of imperialism and agents of corruption. We have been asking for fairness and now we are vindicated,” he said.

Zimbabwe would lodge an official complaint with the government of Liberia, the EU and the KPCS, he added.

The Sunday Mail has obtained a flurry of e-mails between Mr Fayia and Ms Nona Deprez, the team leader of the EU’s covert slush fund, the Instrument for Stability Operations, Crisis Response and Peace Building.

It is this correspondence between Mr Fayia and Ms Deprez that has blown the lid on the EU’s dirty tricks. The e-mails also reveal — in a shocking manner — the tough hurdles that Zimbabwe had to overcome in the countdown to last November’s Kinshasa plenary where the KP finally authorised the export of Chiadzwa diamonds. The secret agreement between Mr Fayia and the EU was code-named “Contract IFS-RRM/2010/247-564”.

In an e-mail dated March 23 2012, Mr Fayia wrote to the EU, demanding the promised money.

On March 27, the EU wrote back, telling him that he would not get the amount he was demanding. In turn, Mr Fayia dispatched an angry e-mail to the EU, complaining that the European bloc was now betraying him, yet he had fulfiled his side of the deal by submitting a report on Zimbabwe that was subsequently “certified and sanctioned by the

Chairman of KP on Monitoring”. Wrote Mr Fayia: “I accepted to head a KP Review Mission that everybody was afraid to undertake, especially as it related to Zimbabwe at the time.

“The contract I signed with you was for six thousand euros (6 000 euros) as was enshrined in the contract and the contract specifically stated that I would receive 60 percent of that amount as my initial payment and then receive the balance of 40 percent upon completion of the mission with a report to be certified and sanctioned by the Chairman of KP on Monitoring.”

He added: “All I did was to request for the payment of my balance of 40 percent and nothing more. I was asked to present documents to prove that I undertook the trip to Zimbabwe, which I did. The receipt of those documents was acknowledged by e-mail.

“Moreover, I have a copy of the 2010 KP Review Visit to Zimbabwe which was submitted to the KPCS. After having undergone this very challenging mission, I requested for my balance of 40 percent of the 6 000 euros which was due to me. To my surprise, I received a form to be signed so that I may get 61 euros as what is owed me. This is totally wrong. The contract did not say so.”

Mr Fayia, angered by the EU’s refusal to pay him for his hatchet job on Zimbabwe, added: “This is totally racist and biased. This would have never happened to a European or an American, but because I am African, I am being unfairly treated by you, Europeans, for a joke (sic) you asked me to do on your behalf when none of you dared to go and face the Zimbabweans as chairman of a trip of that nature. I did not ask to go on this mission; you a sked me to do so. I have all documentations to that effect...” The EU and Mr Fayia are yet to respond to inquiries from The Sunday Mail.


COMMENT - This open letter accuses the KP delegates of bribery and receiving bribes. I think the letter refers to UN Res. 51/22, titled: 51/22, titled Elimination of coercive economic measures as a means of political and economic compulsion

As an extreme exception, spelling errors have been corrected. The letter itself is pathetic, but the allegations are documented and extremely serious. Next time, use a spell checker. An editor would be nice too.


2. Calls for the immediate repeal of unilateral
extraterritorial laws that impose sanctions on companies and nationals
of other States;

3. Calls upon all States not to recognize unilateral
extraterritorial coercive economic measures or legislative acts
imposed by any State;

Open Letter to the KP Chair
Posted by By Tafadzwa Musarara at 9 April, at 02 : 04 AM

Your Excellency,

Please accept my cordial and genial greetings, your Excellency.

We write to you seeking your intervention on the EU/Liberia bribe scandal matter, which we believe you are now aware of, as KP Chair.

The matter relates to formal contract (CONTRACT IFS-RRM/2010/247-567) entered into by the European Union represented by a one Ms. Nona Deprez and the Liberia Deputy Mines Minister Mr. Kpandel Fayia (former Chairperson of the KP Monitoring team on Marange certification) where the latter was supposed to deliver “a report certified and sanctioned by the KP Chair”.

This meant that a report, which will not excite the EU, was not going to be paid for.

In the emails now in the public domain shows that Mr. Fayia is breathing fire over non-payment of his services because the resultant report did not stop the Marange diamond certification as wished by the EU.

In an email, Mike Davis of Global Witness offered to help Fayia to recover his loot. Did I say Global Witness?

Ambassador Gillian Milovanovic 300x200 Open Letter to the KP Chair
Ambassador Gillian Milovanovic

In simple English, your excellency, EU wanted a specific outcome of the mission way in advance of its undertaking.

This act satisfies all the essential elements of bribery and can be least be described as a scandal.

It negates the virtues and principles of the founding statutes of the KP.

In particular, this bribery scandal denigrates the KP preamble, which states…”the international community develop detailed proposals for a simple and workable international certification scheme for rough diamonds based primarily on national certification scheme and on international agreed minimum standards…

What is ironic, Your Excellency is that the same body that was mandated by a UN resolution to clean up the diamond trade from conflict diamond is now having powerful participants using dirty tactics to discredit other participants in pursuit of their crude foreign policies.

It makes sad reading that the KP has now joined a long list of multilateral institutions being abused by stronger countries as tools to achieve the objectives of their foreign policies.

We hope you will institute inquiry in this matter with the intention to commence criminal proceedings against the parties involved.

Your (in) action in this matter which involves your cousins, EU, will be precedent that will be used should similar acts are committed in the future and will shape the jurispendence within KP.

Meanwhile, we put you on notice that as a civic group, we will report this matter to Interpol and Transparency International.

Secondly, Your Excellency, we register our disappointment and dismay over your statements in India regarding the Zimbabwe diamonds exports into India as regards the USA Economic sanctions.

We believe that the USA state department adequately staffed with personnel to deal with ZIM-USA relations and your KP Chairship must be confined to mandate and Agenda of KP.

Regrettably, we see you have set an unfortunate precedent that a participant country chairing can use the KP platform to comment on its bilateral relations with one of the participant.

However, Your Excellency, the imposition of sanctions by USA (for whatever reason) are ultra vires Amendment 14 of the USA constitution which provides substantive and procedural rights by prohibiting the government to deprive persons of life, property and liberty without certain steps taken to ensure fairness.

I am glad that in your letter to Minister Mpofu of 29 March 2012, you admitted that they are “economic sanctions put in place by the USA government.”

Contrary to your claim, Your Excellency, these sanctions are not targeted because their precision to affect the selected persons and institutions are akin to kill a fly with a bazooka.

The tacit effect of sanctions on the head of state of a country implies that the entire country is excluded from any meaningful economic dealings. For example, it is impossible to open an Apple ID account using a Zimbabwean address but you can use any other address in other neighboring countries.

The impression created by these sanctions to the USA business is that Zimbabwe is no go area.

It is not by coincidence that after the imposition of USA sanctions, American companies like Coca Cola and Heinz closed shops in Zimbabwe.

Further, Your Excellency, these sanctions you refer to are violation of the United Nations General Resolution (Elimination of coercive measures as a means of political and economic compulsion) no 49 of 1996. It states that “…. reaffirms right of every state to economic and social development and to choose the political, economic and social system which it deems most appropriate for the welfare of its people, in accordance with its national plans and policies…. Calls for the immediate repeal of unilateral extraterritorial laws that impose sanctions on companies and nationals of other State.”

The foregoing, Your Excellency, makes the USA sanctions illegal and we respectfully request that you do not refer to them during your KP term. Any future reference to these sanctions within the scope of KP business we leave us with no option but to lobby the Government of Zimbabwe to raise a point of order in terms of the Kimberly Process Rules of Procedure ( Johannesburg) No34.

Events in the last three years in KP have shown that participants were pursuing agendas that are alien to the KP mandate as directed by the UN Resolution 55/56 which was informed by the Fowler report.

Given, Your Excellency, your performance so far, we simply can’t wait for your term to come to an end.

For the record, Your Excellency, if the stringent minimum conditions imposed on the Marange Diamond Fields were to be extended across the globe, they will be no meaningful diamond industry to take place.

I remain,

Tafadzwa Musarara

Chairman- Resources Exploitation Watch

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