Traditional leaders in Manicaland have expressed disappointment over the USA ban on Marange diamonds after allegations of forced labour.
Speaking to ZBC News, Headman Chiadzwa said that the ban will adversely affect the local communities and the country at large. He said:
We condemned the ban on the sale as it will impact negatively on our lives. The allegations of forced labour are not true. We have sound grievance procedures and there is a harmonious relationship between the company, employees and the community. We believe the decision is part of acts of economic sabotage that will have detrimental effects on the local communities and the country as a whole.
The USA issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) for artisanal rough-cut diamonds from Marange Manicaland alleging that they had received reports suggesting that the diamonds were being attained through forced labour.
Reports of forced labour were refuted by the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) and the Centre for Natural Resource Governance who said that they had worked in Marange since 2012 but had not received reports of forced labour.
More: ZBC News