Mugabe sells Chiyadzwa diamonds fields

chiyadzwa_diamond_fieldHARARE - THE Government has cherry-picked two investors to take over the controversial Chiyadzwa Diamond Fields, President Robert Mugabe has revealed. (Pictured: Hundreds of prospectors take their lives in their hands to scour ditches full of risky riches)

Officially opening the Second Session of the Seventh Parliament of Zimbabwe on Tuesday, Mugabe said the engagement of the investors would help bring progress to Chiyadzwa diamond fields.

He said as a result of positive steps being taken by the government and the firming of mineral prices on the international market the mining situation in the country was improving.

Mugabe said increased gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners and the re-opening of several mines confirmed that the once depressed mining sector was looking up.

“The diamond industry has continued to court the attention of investors. So far, two serious investors have been selected,” said Mugabe, without naming the investors. “The engagement of the investors will help bring progress to Chiyadzwa, where measures, to ensure the orderly relocation of the local families to pave way for full-scale commercial mining, are already underway.”

The revelations of the parceling out of Chiyadzwa Diamonds fields to unnamed investors comes at a time when High Court Judge Charles Hungwe two weeks ago ordered the Zimbabwe Minerals Development Corporation to stop its mining activities and directed the government to restore African Consolidated Resources’ right to mine in the area.

The government had taken over mining operations using the ZMDC and the army which stands accused of gross human rights violations as it wrestled to take control of the diamond fields.

Mugabe further said the proposed Mines and Minerals Amendment, which is set to sail through the current session, would seek to strengthen the relationship between government and mining houses.

He said the proposed amendments sought to broaden the ownership rights in the mining sector in line with the Indigenization and Economic Empowerment policy, promote foreign direct investment, enforce the “use it or lose it”

principle so as to decisively deal with speculative holding of claims and to reform the Exclusive Prospective Order System in order to facilitate exploration of new deposits.

There is international pressure to ban trade in Zimbabwe diamonds.

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