via Zim diamonds to enter European market by December | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell October 30, 2013
Zimbabwe’s controversial diamonds could enter the European market by the end of this year, following a meeting of high level Belgium traders in Harare at the weekend.
The delegation from the Antwerp World Diamond Council met with Zimbabwe government officials and stakeholders in the diamond sector, to discuss future trade plans.
The meeting is the first since targeted restrictive measures, in place against the state run Zimbabwe Mining and Development Corporation (ZMDC) were lifted by Europe in September.
The measures had been imposed originally because of concerns that the ZMDC was financially backing ZANU PF’s campaign to cling to power in Zimbabwe.
There have also been reports that indicate that the country’s diamonds were responsible for financing a ‘parallel government’ in Zimbabwe, through the ZMDC.
Human rights groups have raised concerns that diamond proceeds, which were never remitted to the treasury, were used by ZANU PF to manipulate the July election.
These claims have been ignored by Europe, with Belgium leading the push for the restrictive measures to be removed from the ZMDC.
Following the weekend meeting Harare, officials said that the first batch of Zimbabwe diamonds were due to be sent to Belgium by the end of the year. A ‘high powered’ Zim delegation is also set to visit the diamond trading hub of Antwerp soon.