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Robert Mugabe being propped up by diamond sales?

Wednesday, 02 February 2011 10:00
C. Twyman
Robert Mugabe being propped up by diamond sales?

The Kimberly Process (KP) industry watchdog has controversially legalised sales from the 150,000-acre Chiadzwa fields in Zimbabwe. Campaigners fear that the move has cleared the way for President Robert Mugabe’s to raise millions from these exports which will fund his military hold on the country, reports The Guardian.

Sales from the Chiadzwa region could trivialize the impact of American and European sanctions and there are concerns that this may result in another election later this year. The other consideration is that this will allow a huge amount of diamonds to enter the international market, from a region that has been plagued with reports of human rights abuses.

The diamond potential of the Chiadzwa region was uncovered in 2006 when a Zimbabwean company and the military moved onto the site. However, geologists have said that this concession is the greatest discovery of its kind in 100 years.