Zimbabwe president says negative marketing is hitting country’s growth
Zimbabwe president Riobert Mugabe has called for “fair play” in the marketing of Marange diamonds, claiming that the country’s industry is being held back by international sanctions.
Mugabe described Zimbabwe’s diamond industry as being essential to the country’s economic growth and development, during a speech at the Zimbabwe Diamond Conference yesterday. He described the proceeds from diamond sales as having made “it possible for government to channel the much-needed funding into both productive and social sectors” and said he believed that “continued growth of the local diamond industry is envisioned to further increase it contribution to the country’s socio-economic growth”.
Mugabe claimed in his speech that his government is committed to complying with international codes of conduct, and said that as a result the, what he termed “illegal sanctions” on Marange diamonds should be relaxed.
He said: "Given the government’s commitment to the upholding of international industry standards and requirements, it goes without saying that diamonds from Zimbabwe must, in the same spirit, be allowed market space in order to trade competitively and fully benefit the nation.
"Due to the illegal sanctions imposed on the local diamond mining companies. The country has not been able to realise full benefits, particularly from diamond mined in Marange. The diamonds have been marketed at depressed prices owing to a negative buyer perception resulting from these illegal sanctions. In this regard, I urge the diamond industry players to call for fair play in the marketing of our diamonds from Marange."
Speaking before Mugabe, Zimbabwe minister of mines and mine development Obert Moses Mpofu told the audience that law and order had been restored in the country’s diamond mining regions and that the government was in complete control. He claimed that the country’s diamond industry is compliant with the Kimberly Process.