Kimberley Process Zimbabwe Monitor Said to “Go Rogue”

The Kimberley Process’ monitor for Marange, Abbey Chikane, confirmed to JCK he
was in Zimbabwe, amid charges that he was certifying the region’s diamonds
without the organization’s official approval.
 
According to NGO Partnership Africa Canada, Chikane unilaterally approved all
production from two of the area’s mining concessions, including millions of
stockpiled diamonds. Those diamonds are still officially blocked by the
Kimberley Process, after the group’s member governments failed to come to an
agreement at a Plenary in Jerusalem last month.
 
Organization sources told JCK that Chikane was not on a KP-approved mission.
 
Chikane declined further comment on why he was in the country, saying he was convinced the situation would clear up soon.
 
“I can’t comment until we complete our discussions, which I am very optimistic
will happen in the next few days,” Chikane told JCK. “We have been talking
since [the Jerusalem] Plenary and continue to talk.”
 
Partnership Africa Canada called on the KP to nullify the Chikane-issued
certificates and notify all diamond trading countries that any shipments would
be in violation of KP standards.
 
“The Kimberley Process [must] unite in the face of such blatant disregard
for the rules, or we allow ourselves to be bullied into irrelevance,” said
Nadim Kara, campaign director at PAC. “Zimbabwe must operate within
the Kimberley Process, or the diamond industry will go back to the anarchy and
chaos of the 1990s.”
 
According to PAC, the diamonds, worth an estimated $160 million, have already
been sold to four Indian buyers.
 
“India has some hard choices to make,” said Alan Martin, PAC’s research
director. “Does the greed of its industry trump the integrity of the Kimberley
Process?”