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Minister Mpofu's Speech Declares Zimbabwe is Compliant

Jun 24, 2011 9:39 AM   By Obert Mpofu's Speech
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RAPAPORT... The following text was delivered in a speech by Zimbabwe's Mines Minister, Obert Mpofu, at the Kimberley Process plenary in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

 * The Hon. chairman of the Kimberley Process - Mathieu Yamba
* The Hon. Minister of Mines for the Republic of South Africa - Susan Shabangu
* The Hon. Minister of Mines for the Republic of Guinea
* Your excellencies ambassadors here - present
* Ladies and Gentlemen

It gives me great pleasure to be addressing you here today in Africa the birth-place of the Kimberley Process. We have gathered here in Kinshasa under the able leadership of our fellow African compatriot, the DRC and it is befitting that I congratulate DRC for successfully hosting this event.

Most importantly, I would like to congratulate the Minister of Mines and Energy Hon. M. Kabwelulu for the excellent presentation calling for pragmaticism and sincerity in the KP. The same can be said about Mr. Eli Izakoff’ s presentation which recognizes that mistakes have been made in the past and that we still have an opportunity to correct these mistakes and move forward.

Sadly, this does not seem to have been well understood by some among us.

My team (Zimbabwe Delegation) has  engaged on relevant substantive issues and the expectations of Zimbabwe on the outcome of this meeting. While our position is that we must now be treated like any other compliant participant, it is increasingly clear that some of us are determined to block consensus in the typical veto fashion which has become the cause of the failure of the KP to deliver an outcome on Zimbabwe.

This morning has been set aside to discuss the Zimbabwe situation, and perhaps quite anomalous is the fact that, some of us have continued to enjoy the perpetuation of debate on Zimbabwe.

Unjustifiably, Zimbabwe has been deliberately set-up invariably to be the dominating subject of virtually all the KPCS meetings over the past 24 months.

In most of the instances that Zimbabwe has been discussed what has emerged clearly is that we have been made to chase the tails of other participants in pursuit of consensus.

The failure in the past to garner consensus has not been precipitated by the absence of the ingredients to achieve consensus, but by shear bad faith, lack of goodwill and the over adherence to hostile foreign policies on Zimbabwe.

This has obviously shifted the debate on Zimbabwe from whether or not there has been compliance with the minimum requirements of the KP, to a political platform where the KPCS rules can not be applied and as a consequence the rules of the KPCS have been extensively violated in massaging political interests and objectives in the name of securing a consensus.

There is no doubt that the KPCS consensus decision making mechanism does not work and cannot work in the face of the global divergence of views on fundamental issues, such as the respect to the sovereign rights of participants to their diamond resources.

The human rights debate remains unresolved and it continues to threaten the sovereignity of participants as it is clear that the KPCS does not have the tools nor the expertise to detect and establish  human rights violations. The elimination of conflict diamonds from the diamond pipeline has left some of our colleagues with no work to do and perhaps the Human rights debate is hoped to create new work and a new focus.

Zimbabwe agreed to the joint working plan (JWP) in Swakopmund in 2009. In accepting the JWP, the intention was to achieve only one key deliverable, that is - Compliance with the KPCS Minimum Requirements.

There is no question about the fact that Zimbabwe is now compliant and thus entitled to export. However in the wisdom of some of us, we have shamelessly campaigned for all sorts of mechanisms to regulate compliant exports.

Where is it provided in the KPCS RULES that compliant exports must be regulated by mechanisms?

Why should participants be compliant if the reward for compliance is mechanism after mechanism?

We want to make it categorically clear here in Kinshasa that we will not allow or accept any mechanism of whatsoever nature, we are compliant full stop.

We have been monitored and certified compliant, why should we continue with the monitor. What is there to monitor on a compliant mine?

We have all the internal regulatory framework sufficient to enable us to confirm the compliance of our mines.

The WGM (working group on monitoring) has abused us enough, we have eloquently addressed all the concerns of the WGM in the past and we all know that the WGM has failed to deliver consensus on all the instances that we have engaged.

It is also clear that consensus has not been achieved because the working groups must be reformed. The reform of the Working Groups is not only supposed to happen now, it must happen yesterday.

How can we have the EU chairing the WGM, since the beginning of the KP many years ago? We have allowed the KP to institutionalize in the hands of one participant.

All these chairs of the Working Groups must chair for one year in terms of the rules. Why should they be allowed to continue in office beyond now. They must resign now, and make way to fresh leadership. The only credible KP institution has remained the plenary under the direct authority of the chair.

Where have you ever heard of a subsidiary working group that defies the authority of the parent body headed by the chair? Once that is allowed to happen the KP, is no different from a banana republic.

The attack on the chair's notice of the 19th of March is completely unjustified. When Israel was chair a lot of decisions were taken which we did not accept as valid but, most of  you did not speak out about these issues. Now that DRC has exercised its authority to break the deadlock, an avalanche of attacks has been unleashed including the very chair of the WGM.

How do we expect Zimbabwe to attend WGM meetings to sit and allow the E.U. to preside when they have openly declared that Zimbabwe is not entitled to export. The U.S. on the other hand is seizing all our diamond revenue in the name of sanctions on Zimbabwe. Surely this cannot be an environment to seek genuine consensus or we are fooling each other.

The JWP has expired and served its purpose, but some of us would want to perpetuate it and abuse it to prevent exports.

The St. Petersburg agreement was never endorsed by plenary and is invalid and in any case expires with the JWP to the extent it purported to amend it.

With regards to the proposal for the local focal point person, which is premised in the St. Petersburg document, this was not endorsed by plenary and as such it is invalid. We do not recognize the focal point and we will not allow the KP to feed on rumors and speculation.

The time for experiments is over, they experimented with the violence clause and the self-cessation mechanism, it failed. Tried the hybrid monitoring team, it has failed to pass the simple test of scrutiny. How many more experiments do we have to endure when we are fully compliant.  Enough is enough.

The WGM has openly usurped the powers of the chair and continues to defy the chair’s notice, how honestly do we engage when all the efforts are directed at taking us a couple of steps back. We have to make it clear that Zimbabwe is compliant and will be selling its diamonds for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe as a full participant like any other compliant participant. We will continue to export from  Mbada, Marange Resources including Anjin which is now ready to export and all the new mines that will commence production in the Marange Area.

Those who may want to look at our operations are most welcome. Our obligations to report to the KP on our production and exports will be fully discharged. We will in accordance with the rules submit our quarterly and annual reports outlining our production and sales. It is important that it be understood that we are not refusing scrutiny at all, but only to the extend it is supported by the rules of the KPCS.

Allow me to thank our African colleagues for standing by us, let me also thank our traditional allies for standing by us, China, India, Russia and many others. Dubai has unjustifiably detained our exports purportedly on the instructions of the WGM, surely how do we engage in the face of such polarization.


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