The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) has dismissed claims by the United States that rough cut diamonds from Marange are obtained from the use of forced labour.

In an exclusive interview with ZBCnews online,  ZCDC Acting Chief Executive Officer, Rob De Preto, dismissed the allegations as baseless, as there are no artisanal diamond miners in the country.

This comes after the United States of America (USA) issued a Withhold Release Order for the rough cut diamonds on Tuesday.

“This is fake news, obviously aimed at creating some sort of hype. Remember ZCDC is accredited by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) and everything is accredited by them,”  De Preto said.

The civil rights organisation centre for Natural Resource Governance communications officer, Simiso Mlevu, called on the USA to share its findings with civil rights groups.

“We have been working in Marange since 2012 and we have never received reports of forced labour, so if they did a research then they should share the findings with us,” she said.

China, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malaysian companies were also victims of the raid covering five different products together with Zimbabwe.

The ban comes at a time when African countries are calling for the removal of illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.