imbabwe’s Parliament has urged the government to close legal and policy framework loopholes leading to rampant smuggling of diamonds outside the country by artisanal miners.
Smuggling of diamonds was a common occurrence in the eastern Marange area where most diamond mining is taking place, chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on mines and mining development Edmond Mkaratigwa said in a report presented to the parliament Tuesday.
One of the major loopholes “is the non-recognition of artisanal and small-scale miners who are largely fueling the smuggling of diamonds to other countries,” the report said.
The committee observed that customs and border officials were also not properly trained to either identify diamond features or tamper of diamond seals.
Zimbabwe, with four diamond mining companies, is the current vice-chair of the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) and is due to assume chairmanship in 2023. Established in 2003, the KPCS aims to prevent diamonds mined in war zones from entering the mainstream rough diamond market.
Zimbabwe was in good compliance with KPCS requirements, the parliamentary committee said. “However, more work should be done towards addressing the gaps identified during the self-assessment,” it noted.
Zimbabwe produced 2.7 million carats of diamonds in 2020, up from 2.1 million carats in 2019.