Yesterday, Kimberley Process monitor for Zimbabwe Mr Abbey Chikane described his fact-finding mission to the country as a success and said he would return in the coming few weeks to certify rough diamonds for export.
Wonderful news! I guess that means we’ll be well on our way to legally selling “our” diamonds internationally, so our country can move forward and develop on the back of our vast mineral riches. Awesome! Provided Abbey Chikane does certify.
The welcome this guy has received reminds me of another feted guest, greeted with pomp and fanfare and love and traditional dances.
Remember Anna Tibaijuka?
In June 2005, the Secretary General appointed Tibaijuka as his Special Envoy to study the impact of the Zimbabwean Government’s campaign (known as Operation Murambatsvina) to evict informal traders and people deemed to be squatting illegally in certain areas. As the evictions were concentrated on areas which had traditionally strongly supported the oppositional Movement for Democratic Change, many commentators believed the campaign was politically motivated. Although this was denied by the Zimbabwean Government, there was strong international criticism.
For example, ZTV (25/7,8pm) quoted Information Minister Tichaona Jokonya accusing Tibaijuka of having come to assess the clampdown “without an open mind” and saying “she was on a mission to satisfy Tony Blair’s agenda”.
It was in this context that The Herald and Chronicle (25/7) reported President Mugabe as having invited UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to visit Zimbabwe “to see for himself the situation on the ground” because as he told ZTV (26/7, 8pm), The Herald and Chronicle (27/7), Tibaijuka’s assessment of Murambatsvina was pre-determined.
The two papers (27/7) quoted him alleging that Tibaijuka had told him “her hands were tied” because “certain people had been planted in her assessment mission to ensure that the report was damning”.
Any guesses what will happen when Abbey (inevitably) proclaims that something stinks?
Prepare for the smackdown.