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ZELA participates in the Kimberley Process (KP) review visit for Zimbabwe

20 May 2022

The year 2022 is critical for Zimbabwe’s diamond governance discourse as the country is being reviewed under the Kimberley Process (KP) Certification Scheme (KPCS). The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) was created in 2003 to curb the trade of diamonds by rebel and dissident government groups using gems to finance their operations. The KP review visit team was in Zimbabwe from the 15th of May to the 20th of May. The purpose the KP Review visit team was to assess the extent to which Zimbabwe diamond industry is complying with the minimum standards set under KP for trading diamonds. The standards include governments setting national institutions, legislations and controls for imports and exports, committing to transparent practices in the diamond sector, and trading only with fellow members of the KP.  Zimbabwe had a review   in 2012 under following the KP Review Mission in 2010.

The importance of the KPCS emanates from its tripartite nature where the government, diamond mining companies and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) through the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition (KPCSC) come together to discuss and provide solutions to the existing diamond governance challenges. Whilst it is not yet uhuru on diamond governance in the country and the realisation of the expectations on the scope of work for the KPCS in general, the trajectory that the tripartite arrangement of the KPCS has taken in Zimbabwe in terms of the involvement of the KPCSC members is commendable. Late last year, the Government of Zimbabwe piloted the Kimberley Process Self-Assessment programme where a committee composed of government ministries and agencies, KPCSC members and mining companies was assembled to assess the country’s compliance with the KP minimum requirements and the general diamond governance landscape in preparation of the KP Review Visit. This initiative boosted the tripartite mechanism of the KPCSC in Zimbabwe as all the parties concerned were effectively involved in discussing governance of diamonds landscape in Zimbabwe and what needs to be done to ensure that Zimbabwe create and implement policies and practices that will ensure equitable community benefit in the diamond industry. 

As part of the KP Review for Zimbabwe which happened this week, ZELA hosted the KP review team and presented an overview of CSO activities in governance of diamond industry in Zimbabwe, key observations in the sector and recommendations to improve the sector. The CBOs in Marange also participated in the meeting on Monday and shared their observations about the situation in Marange.

ZELA also utilized the platform as a leverage to push for legislative and policy reforms for improved transparency and accountability in the diamond sector.  Some of the key recommendations that ZELA presented to Government and the KP review visit team on Monday were around the need for  the diamond policy to be strengthened on transparency and accountability issues  including the Community Share Ownership Trust (CSOT) established in Marange, the need for all diamond companies and Government to establish a dialogue platform on responsible sourcing and its legislation in Zimbabwe, the need to pilot the implementation of the Administrative Decision (AD) on responsible sourcing, the need to ensure that Zimbabwe joins the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative ( EITI) leveraging on the lessons from  its peers such as Mozambique. The incorporation of some of ZELA’s recommendations in the KP Report for Zimbabwe is something that will be very important to ZELA’s work on influencing diamond governance reforms in the country.

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