Today, let’s talk about Zimbabwe. It’s a country in southern Africa. For the last 37 years Zimbabwe has been led by President Robert Mugabe. On Tuesday, 93 year old Mugabe finally resigned, bringing an end to his ruthless rule.
Following the news, there was wild jubilation on the streets of Harare, the county’s capital. Zimbabweans could hardly believe that finally they were free from the man that the majority of people in the country detested.
Mugabe only resigned because he was about to be impeached. Two days earlier he was thrown out of the ruling party ZANU-PF and dismissed as its leader. His wife Grace Mugabe was also expelled from the party and is facing prosecution.
Recently, we heard the sad news that Cecil the lion had been killed by an American poacher in Zimbabwe. Dr Walter Palmer, a dentist and a father of two from Bloomington, Minnesota, USA, is now begging forgiveness. He said he didn’t know he was breaking Zimbabwe law by killing the defenceless African lion, or for that matter that Cecil had been coaxed away from the game reserve he lived on.
Should Zimbabwe be allowed to resume diamond sales? That’s the question delegates from 70 countries at talks in Israel recently had to decide. The organisation that controls the international diamond trade failed to find an answer after allegations of human rights abuses in Zimbabwe’s mines.
Members of the watchdog, known as ‘the Kimberley Process’, said discussions had been ‘clouded’ by the arrest and imprisonment of a human rights activist. Farai Maguwu had alleged that forced labour, rape, torture and harassment were being used to develop Zimbabwe’s new lucrative Marange diamond mines.
Zimbabwe’s ability to export Kimberley certified diamonds – ‘the Kimberley Process’ - was suspended after the army seized control of Marange, allegedly massacring up to 200 miners two years ago. The country has accused the west of trying to hold back its economic development.
The diamonds from the Marange field could see the country become one of the world’s top six exporters of diamonds and generate US$1.7bn a year. But human rights groups want Zimbabwe to remain banned from selling “blood diamonds” - those which are used to fuel a conflict.
Category: Zimbabwe / Blood Damonds / Kimberley Process