The lifting of the EU ban on Zimbabwean diamonds

Robert Mugabe

Robert Mugabe

This happened on September 17th 2013. As reported by Reuters, EU governments had carried out a review of the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation’s (ZMDC) inclusion in the EU sanctions list “and begun the process of de-listing ZMDC”, EU Foreign Affairs spokesperson Michael Mann said.

Eleven years since the ban was introduced. It was in 2002. Officially it was a consequence of elections gone violent and marred with fraud. That was a partial truth and I do consider that a half truth is worse than a complete lie for obvious reasons. The person telling a half truth wants people to believe it to be the whole truth though that is not the case.

A profound analysis of the politics of post-independence Zimbabwe gives us instead a much more plausible explanation of the ban. The cause of the ban is more likely to be in the ways ZANU-PF government of President Robert Mugabe had handled the failure of the British government led by former Labor Prime Minister Tony Blair to abide by the 1979 Lancaster House Agreement on the issue of compulsory land redistribution.

Despite the social upheaval that the land reform issue caused to both white and black Zimbabwean communities, history should carry on. That is what the lifting of the ban seems to state. The ban cannot economically speaking remain forever whatever the grievances of the sides felt unfairly treated by political circumstances.

Europe and the rest of the said developed world have been in trouble looking for growth’s opportunities everywhere since the gradual decline of their respective economies starting from 2007/8.

Zimbabwe cannot be persistently punished for Britain not respecting its side of the Lancaster House Agreement on the land reform. Everyone needs to move on and this will benefit everybody.

Another reason to the lifting of the ban is that “in a few years’ time, Zimbabwe will account for 25 percent of world production of diamonds,” wrote former South African president Thabo Mbeki quoting an expert in the diamonds sector during a conference he was taking part in.

A country with such potential cannot be ignored forever, given also the fact that emerging countries were not all tied by the ban.

As the land reform made some changes in the lives of a number of Zimbabwean, let’s hope the lifting of this ban will also see the benefits spiraling over hundreds of thousands of the country of Mugabe.

Zimbabweans did not trade on the cheap their resources. They experienced hardship because of that. I hope other Africans have been watching and learning. And that is what African enemies do not want them to be able to do.


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