Ray Bande Senior Reporter
BASELESS and negative reports on the goings-on in the Chiadzwa diamond operations result in the precious gems fetching so little on the international market, Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) board chairperson has said.
Only recently, the United States barred Zimbabwe’s diamonds from entering Washington after claims that they were produced with forced labour. Apparently, forced labour has never been an issue at Chiadzwa and other diamond mining areas around the country.
In his opening remarks during an all stakeholders diamond indaba held in Mutare on Wednesday, ZCDC board chairperson Mr Killian Ukama said negative reports gave the impression that the country was desperate for diamond buyers and ended up getting low prices for the precious gems.
“It is important that we remind each other that all the lies that are peddled on international communication channels result in our produce fetching less on the international market.
“We are in this together and if we cannot be responsible in the way we disseminate information at least let us be patriotic. The situation that obtains because of negative publicity is that buyers get the impression that Zimbabwe is desperate for market and in the end they negotiate to the last price,” he said.
In an effort aimed at sourcing lucrative markets for the precious gems, ZCDC last year launched an online bidding platform to allow potential international buyers to buy Zimbabwe’s gems.
The ZCDC upped its efforts to market its produce since last year when it launched an online platform that is meant to perform better than manual diamond bidding.
At its inception, Mr Ukama said the platform allowed the country’s diamond sector to follow international best practices.
“It allows us to connect with many more buyers who can register from anywhere in the world. The system allows comprehensive data analytics regarding the buyers and their preferences. ZCDC will also invest in exploration and evaluation to establish resource confidence.”