The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) has called on all stakeholders within the diamond value chain to unite so as to build a positive perception of the Zimbabwean diamond industry.
Addressing delegates at the all stakeholder diamond indaba in Mutare today, ZCDC Chairman Engineer Killian Ukama dismissed negative reports being peddled by the media and other civil society groups that the company is employing forced labor to some of its employees.
“Sadly, the ZCDC you read in the headlines and the ZCDC I am relating to you sometimes appear as two different entities.
“The perception of our organization remains one marred by rumors, innuendo, untruths and an apparent lack of trust among stakeholders. As an industry which is driven by ‘ the feel-good factor’ this obtaining situation has serious implication on the value of our diamonds.
“We need to unite in order to protect this asset. To fully unlock the value of diamonds it is critical that we jointly work towards building positive perceptions of our diamond industry,” he said.
Engineer Ukama applauded some civic society organisations who assisted the company in denying allegations that ZCDC is employing forced labor.
“In this vein, allow me to applaud some of our civic society organisations who stood by ZCDC in denying allegations that ZCDC is employing forced labor.
“This does not in any way mean we must bury our heads in the sand and deny wrongs that must be corrected. Rather, as we engage we must be driven by a common purpose for a brighter future based on a common narrative that while we still have many steps to go, we are making incremental progress.
“We now need to figure out a way in which we need to reduce the gap between ourselves and stakeholders.
“So my appeal to you is that collectively let us work to rebuild the diamond industry so that it meets our aspirations. This indaba is being held so that as stakeholders we are candid for the purpose of building this industry,” he added.