Zanu PF NGO seeks ban of Pac research team

HARARE - An NGO aligned to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF has written to immigration authorities seeking the blacklisting of officials from Partnership Africa Canada (Pac) which recently claimed $2 billion has been looted from Marange diamonds.

Resource Exploitation Watch (REW) which is a Zanu PF-aligned NGO involved in the monitoring of mining activities — has petitioned the chief immigration officer to deny entry to two directors of the Canadian civil society group from entering the country.

The chief immigration officer has been urged to declare Bernard Taylor and Allan Martin of Pac persona non grata. The two frequently visit Zimbabwe to carry out research.

“The two have been coming to Zimbabwe frequently to conduct their ‘researches’ and their conduct is injurious to the national economic interest of Zimbabwe,” Tafadzwa Musarara, REW chairperson said in the letter.

“It is all clear that Pac, which is funded by the US state department and Canadian foreign ministry, is bent to perpetuate the hostile foreign policies of their funders.”

Musarara claimed the two threatened national security.

Pac courted the ire of the NGO after producing its damming report titled Reap what you sow, greed and corruption in Zimbabwe: Marange diamonds fields. The group alleged that there was systematic looting of proceeds from sales made on Marange gems.

According to REW, the timing of the report’s release was “well calculated to rubbish the diamond conference” in Victoria Falls two weeks ago.

“In view of the foregoing, we therefore appeal to your office to declare persona non grata Allen Martin and Bernard Taylor in terms of section 14(1)(a) of the Immigration Act, who are the authors of the report and directors of Pac,” read the petition.

Musarara claimed Pac’s report which claimed that diamonds worth over $2 billion have been looted, was false and contained malicious statistics meant to discredit the conference. Pac claimed that the involvement of military personnel in Marange has caused the death of more than 200 people and REW claims the Canadian based NGO has no evidence to such claims.

Marange diamonds have been a source of conflict between Zimbabwe and some international organisations who allege that human rights violations are rife in the mining area.

Government has denied the allegations. - Xolisani Ncube

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