WFDB okays diamond sales

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ZIMBABWE’s bid to auction its diamonds last week received a timely boost when the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) called on the Kimberley Process to allow the country to sell its gems. The move is set to boost the economy that is in desperate need of massive cash injection following years of an unprecedented meltdown due to the illegal economic sanctions imposed against the country by the West. The country had been denied the right to auction its diamonds due to disagreements within the Kimberley Process when powerful Western nations vehemently opposed Zimbabwe’s calls for the auctioning of the gems which the West claimed were ‘blood diamonds’. The WFDB last week said members of the Kimberley Process must resolve the internal disagreements between members on the issue of Zimbabwe diamonds and allow the country to export its gems without further delay. It said diamonds from all mining areas in Zimbabwe must be exported urgently so that the disputes within the Kimberley Process on the Zimbabwe issue are dealt with once and for all. “The KP, due to the deadlock in its decisionmaking process and its experts’ ensuing indecision to allow rough diamond exports from Zimbabwe to resume, is about to cause irreparable damage throughout the entire supply pipeline of our industry and trade, and threatens the livelihood of literally millions of people throughout the international diamond and jewellery sector,” said WFDB president Avi Paz. He said the Kimberley Process risks losing its credibility if it fails to deal with the Zimbabwe issue and said the auction of the country’s diamonds would help Zimbabweans emerge from an economic quagmire. “In addition, if the KP remains indecisive on Zimbabwe, there is a real danger that the relevance of the KP itself will be at stake,” the WFDB president said. But analyst Gift Musemwa this week said the world, particularly the West, was now slowly coming to terms with the fact that it could not do without Zimbabwe diamonds. He said the call by the WFDB on the Kimberley Process to expedite the auctioning of the Marange diamonds was a vindication of the country’s innocence in the face of the blatant lies that Western countries have been levelling against Zimbabwe. “Do not read too much into the WFDB’s call for the KP to auction diamonds because it has absolutely nothing to do with the development of the Zimbabwe economy and its citizens,” he said. “What is happening is that the WFDB and the West have actually realised that the world cannot do without Zimbabwe diamonds because we are a very key stakeholder in the global diamond trade. “We should now speed up the process of auctioning the gems which should rank as the cleanest diamonds in the world, and disprove Western notions that our diamonds are blood diamonds.” Zimbabwe has been at loggerheads with the West over the auctioning of its gems and recent statistics show that the country’s reserves amount to a quarter

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