US sanctions harmful to the generality of Zimbabweans - Biti

US sanctions harmful to the generality of Zimbabweans - Biti
Published: 18 January 2012 (614 Views)
The following is a letter by Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Tendai Biti to the United States Treasury, expressing his disquiet with a decision to impose a ban on diamonds from Marange:
 
19 December 2011

Charles Collyns
Assistant Secretary of Treasury
MBANDA DIAMONDS AND MARANGE RESOURCES

I refer to the decision taken by the United States Treasury on the 9th December 2011 placing the above companies on the list of proscribed and sanctioned companies.

I want to place it on record that we as Ministry of Finance, writing on behalf of the government of Zimbabwe, find your measures contrary to the spirit of engagement and harmful to the generality of Zimbabweans.

As you are aware, I have been consistent in my lobby for Zimbabwe to be allowed to sell its diamonds but under and in compliance with the Kimberley Certification Scheme.

Pursuant to this, I was pleased when the United States of America shifted its position and supported Zimbabwe in Kinshasa on 1st November 2011 and a compromise was reached allowing Zimbabwe to sell its diamonds under the Kimberley Certification Scheme.

Zimbabwe is a poor fragile economy and therefore it must be allowed to sell and benefit from its resources. In my budget, there are capital projects of US$600 million which are totally dependent on diamond revenues.

Diamonds have been sold illicitly and illegally from Zimbabwe. There have been challenges of accountability and lack of transparency when Zimbabwe was outside the Kimberley Certification Scheme. Selling under Kimberley Process Certification Scheme would therefore, take away any opaqueness or illicitness.

Being part of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme would allow Zimbabwe to benefit from the expertise of the KPSC.
 
We have challenges of policing and monitoring the large area of almost 120,000 hectares where these diamonds are found.
 
There is also the fundamental issue of expertise which we do not have, but the KPSC has, and we could benefit from.
 
The decision to proscribe Mbanda and Marange is self-defeating and negates the Kinshasa decision.

The two companies and Zimbabwe should have firstly been allowed to put their case forward before the punitive action was taken. Due process of the law is guaranteed ion Amendment 14 of your Constitution.

Secondly, to the extent that normalcy had been restored by the Kishasa compromise, the two companies ought to have been given space and a chance to operate under the new regime of compliance.

The two monitors, Mr Abbey Chikane and Mr Mark van Bostael, would have provided regular updates to the KPSC.
 
If there was to be non-compliance, then the issue would be discussed and remedial measures or penalties taken within the KPSC.

Thirdly, the US decision undermines the KPSC and its chairmanship of this body. A member must act in good faith. One cannot in one forum act in one manner and then unilaterally undermine the collective decision taken at the common forum.

It would also be curious to find out the motive of your decision against the two companies.

Your decision will not stop the mining that is a sovereign issue covered by international law. More importantly, it will not stop the sale of diamonds.

All it does is encourage more opaqueness and underwriting of the diamond industry.

As I said before, this is a self-defeating and retrogressive position one which I hope was not taken to placate powerful interests who were against the Kinshasa agreement.

I trust that you shall urgently review this position.

I will be in the United States between 23rd December 2011 and 7th January 2012 and I would be happy to discuss this issue further.

Yours faithfully,

Hon T. Biti, MP
Minister of Finance

Cc His Excellency, the President, Cde R. G. Mugabe
Cc The Rt Hon Prime Minister M. Tsvangirai
Cc Hon Dr O. Mpofu, Minister of Mines
Cc Ambassador Charles Ray
Cc Assistant Secretary Johnie Carson
Cc US State Department
Cc Kimberley Process Certification Scheme


- Tendai Biti

 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Bushiri arrest story an internet hoax

by Maynard Manyowa | 20 January 2018 | 43 Views

Consumers raise concern over high levels of Service Charge

by Givestar Kamuzonde | 20 January 2018 | 41 Views

Sex workers bash peeping Tom

by Simbarashe Sithole | 20 January 2018 | 44 Views

Britain's female prime ministers sensible, says Mnangagwa

by Staff Reporter | 20 January 2018 | 51 Views

Mugabe wanted Mnangagwa assassination to look like suicide

by Staff Reporter | 20 January 2018 | 47 Views

Grace Mugabe's 3 supercars crash in Botswana, badly damaged

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 167 Views

Dabengwa named in new Eskom board

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 111 Views

How to 'unsend' an accidental WhatsApp message

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 97 Views

Former Zimbabwe expert appointed SABC COO - reports

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 73 Views

Zimbabweans urged to rally behind Mnangagwa's 'coup' govt

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 66 Views

Overcoming Temptation

by Tendai Tagarira | 20 January 2018 | 53 Views

Matebeles too alert to fall for the so called "New Era"

by Wilson Mahlafuna and Khohliso Maqhoba | 20 January 2018 | 56 Views

Build Zimbabwe launches manifesto

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 57 Views

'Bloody Zanu-PF, MDC primary elections loom'

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 60 Views

Ex-CIO agent takes DG to court over dismissal

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 70 Views

Mushowe to meet his match in 2018 elections

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 70 Views

Why did Rita Makarau resign from ZEC?

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 76 Views

Tsvangirai mourns Roy Bennett

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 56 Views

Mthwakazi threatens Mnangagwa's ZRP over rallies ban

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 43 Views

Gutu threatening to derail MDC Alliance

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 53 Views

Zanu PF youths call for Mohadi's wife's ouster

by Staff Reporter | 20 January 2018 | 64 Views

Cholera hits Zimbabwe, 4 die in Chegutu

by Staff Reporter | 20 January 2018 | 52 Views

WATCH: 6 people burnt beyond recognition in kombi crash

by Simbarashe Sithole | 20 January 2018 | 137 Views

Dont blame Trump, blame African leaders!

by Albert Madya | 20 January 2018 | 61 Views

Mzembi takes a rest from politics

by Staff Reporter | 20 January 2018 | 88 Views

'Tsvangirai risks a disgraceful exit'

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 51 Views

Sangoma 'cures' cancer

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 53 Views

Doctors threaten to go on strike

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 44 Views

Mwazha pastor gets 11 years for rape

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 35 Views

Soldiers, police for vendors blitz

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 41 Views

'New Zimbabwe is coming'

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 41 Views

Mnangagwa's police ban MDC Alliance rally

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 36 Views

Bosso chairmanship race takes a new twist

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 60 Views

'Zimbabwe to honour property rights'

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 31 Views

Sir Wicknell now a dad

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 34 Views

Mnangagwa buys Tsvangirai

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 35 Views

Gutu, Biti tussle for Parliament seat

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 41 Views

Mnangagwa invites UN, EU

by Staff reporter | 20 January 2018 | 37 Views