By Staff Reporter
HARARE businessman and Resources Exploitation Watch Trust (REWT) chairman Tafadzwa Musarara has threatened to sue Centre for Natural Resource Governance, (CNRG) director Farai Maguwu over alleged case of defamation.
REWT is local pro-government and pan-African diamond rights lobby organisation and it sees CNRG as a donor-driven diamond rights approach.
The two organisations have been at loggerheads since 2009 when Zimbabwe was on the agenda of the international community over its diamond sector.
This saw the country’s security services being accused of human rights abuses in Manicaland’s Chiadzwa diamond fields.
The country was then banned from trading its diamonds by the Kimberly Process.
However, last week in Brussels during a Kimberly Process bi-annual meeting Maguwu claimed on social media that Musarara, who was also in attendance, had use State resources, misrepresenting himself and “bulldozed” into the meeting.
Said Maguwu; “In Brussels there is a conference on Diamonds. Zimbabwe, which is earning less than $300 million annually from diamonds, sent a delegation of 30-plus.
“UAE earn more than $6.5 billion from the diamond trade annually, they flew 3 and added 2 from their embassy in Brussels. Israel also flew in three.
“One of the delegates representing Zimbabwe at this diamond conference is Tafadzwa Musarara, president of the Grain Millers Association. If you see, then you have seen.”
According to Musarara, Maguwu implied that he had attended the meeting as president of the $600 million Zimbabwe milling industry which has nothing to do with the diamond business.
In a statement, Musarara’s legal advisor, Calvin Sengwe, said Maguwu deliberately misrepresented facts.
“Since 2009, REWT representatives have been attending the Kimberly Process bi-annuals meetings accredited as Observers,” said the attorney.
“REWT Chairman of the board Trustees, Mr. Tafadzwa Musarara, and other REWT officials have participated in these Kimberly Process meetings including the recently held 2018 Brussels Plenary. A Google search will attest to that.
“The social media posts by Farai Magawu, of the Centre for Natural Resource Governance, that Mr. Tafadzwa Musarara represented the milling industry at the Brussels Plenary are simply pre-school mischief and (intended) to project the image of impropriety.”
Sengwe said his client, who is also a ZMDC appointee to REWT, had never been implicated in the abuse of local diamonds and had, rather, been in the forefront advocating for the lifting of sanctions on the trading of gems.
“He (Maguwu) did not only mislead people but also abused social media through deliberately twisting facts,” Sengwe said.
REWT has produced series of magazines and articles articulating the country’s diamond sector agenda.