Mpofu leads a 25-member delegation to attend KPCS meeting in the US
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The delegation is made up of officials from parastatals, civic society, mining experts and marketers.
In an interview from Harare yesterday, Dr Mpofu said the Zimbabwean delegation would join representatives from other countries to deliberate on issues affecting diamond trading when the meeting starts on Monday.
"We are leaving tomorrow to the US. Our visas have been cleared and we are going as a delegation of 25 people that include experts from the Government, civic society groups, mining operators and marketers," said Dr Mpofu.
"It would be a week of inter-sessional meetings. Others have already left. For the first time we are going to this meeting as a team with everyone on board. The civic societies who have tended to work independent of others are with us this time."
Dr Mpofu said despite imposing illegal sanctions on the country, the US invited Harare to participate in this crucial meeting in recognition of the country's contribution in diamond mining.
"The deliberations really will revolve around the future of KPCS and the achievements it has made in the last few years. We are aware that there will be attempts to redefine KPCS operations by some people who want to satisfy their selfish interests. We will strongly resist such efforts," said Dr Mpofu.
"The illegal sanctions are a political issue but Zimbabwe is a giant diamond producer in the world contributing over 25 percent of the precious gems. As such our voice cannot be ignored. There cannot be any talk on diamond production without Zimbabwe's participation."
Dr Mpofu said the country's diamond production standards were comparable to none and said the international community acknowledges that.
"We are an active player in the diamond industry and our operations are comparable to none. We have perfected our art of mining and that is gradually earning us respect as a country. There is no way in which the US can ignore us because they want our diamonds."
The US government, through its embassy in Harare, wrote a letter to Dr Mpofu at the end of April inviting him and his delegation to apply for visas to facilitate their travel.
At that time the US Embassy acting public affairs officer in Harare, Ms Jillian Bonnardeaux, said the KPCS meeting was crucial and it was imperative for the Zimbabwean delegation to participate.
Zimbabwe has faced a number of challenges in marketing its diamonds and recently the US placed companies such as Mbada Diamonds and Marange Resources mining at Marange diamond fields on sanctions.
The Government is, however, pinning its hopes on diamond revenue to raise money for civil servants salaries and financing of critical national projects.
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