kimberley_process.jpgGovernment has turned down a request by KP Civil Society Coalition representatives to visit Marange diamonds fields, arguing that the civic society demonstrated their unwillingness to cooperate with the rest of the KP family following their boycott of the DRC Plenary held last year.

Responding to an application by the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO) seeking the permission from government to visit Marange diamond fields, Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu expressed astonishment at the request given the anti-Marange gemstones campaign by representatives of the KP Civil Society Coalition in the past.

Dr. Mpofu noted that government remains committed to the ideals and vision of the Kimberley Process and will only work with those members of the KP family who are willing to cooperate with the country.

Members of the KP Civil Society, including Global Witness and Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) last year boycotted the crucial KP Plenary on the grounds that the grouping had failed to decisively deal with the alleged human rights abuse in Marange.

The attempts by the civil society to discredit the country’s gemstones has dismally failed given the endorsement of the gemstones by the rest of the KP family including the new Chair, US’s Gillian Milovanovic.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mpofu confirmed that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai will be leading a team of ministers and government officials to visit Marange diamond fields this Thursday for a one-day familiarisation tour.