THE African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA) has come out in defence of Zimbabwe after the Kimberley Process chairperson, Boaz Hirsch, declared that no trading would be allowed with regard to Zimbabwe's Marenge diamonds.
ADPA executive secretary Edgar de Carvalho on Friday held a media briefing stating that the declaration held no water and that the Kimberly Process had no right to bar Zimbabwe from trading in its diamonds.
He said Zimbabwe was in fact over-compliant with international standards.
Carvalho called for Hirsch to withdraw his statement with immediate effect, or ADPA will urge Zimbabwe to take legal action. He said ADPA might also be forced to make declarations that might have severe negative ramifications regarding the continued participation of its member states in a process that he describes as "clearly being hijacked and used as a vehicle for political and commercial agendas of a few of the participants in the Kimberly Process".
"ADPA hereby wishes to state categorically that Zimbabwe has complied with the minimum requirements of the Kimberly Process and ADPA participants stand behind Zimbabwe and encourage that the country to continue selling its diamonds to all willing buyers without any constraints," Carvalho stressed.
He also stated that Hirsch was not acting within the framework of the Kimberly Process rules that treat all participants fair and equal.
He also called for the Kimberly Process chairperson to stop making unilateral decision that are not in the spirit of the arrangement agreed upon by all participants.