A tale of two countries

diamond__pieceZimbabwe and Botswana have both been endowed with amazing diamond wealth. Every Motswana has benefitted from the diamond deposits in that country. Only a chosen handful of Zimbabweans, and their South African partners, are benefitting from the Chiadzwa desposits.

While Botswana chose to go into a 50-50 partnership with an established, international diamond mining company, in a transparent and fully documented deal that secured an efficient extraction process and revenue for generations to come, Zimbabwe chose to partner with two un-known, non-mining companies in a deal shrouded in secrecy, confusion and corruption.

Botswana has prospered in the decades since the deal with De Beers was done. Evidence of economic prosperity and development is everywhere. Roads, buildings, clinics, schools and a high standard of living for everybody give testimony to the proper management of this national asset.

Although most of Botswana is a desert, and the rest semi-arid the country is not dependent on food aid. In fact it has enormous foreign currency reserves.

Zimbabwes infrastructure is crumbling. The roads are a sorry sight. Many fatal accidents have been blamed on them. Residents of cities and towns suffer abominably from the collapse of basic infrastructure such as water, sewage, drainage etc.

The majority of the population is dependent on food aid despite the fact that we have millions of hectares of good arable land and good rains in many areas.

Zimbabwe is broke. We cant service our debts. Yet we have more diamond deposits than Botswana!

We carry a story on our front page of the haemorrhage of diamonds from Chiadzwa through employees of one of the companies awarded a licence through opaque means – to mine them. This is despite the fact that there are hundreds of soldiers and policemen guarding the place.

Now we understand the ZRP wants to get in on the act. They now want to mine diamonds instead of maintaining law and order.

Mines minister Obert Mpofu is said to have promised them a licence. It seems as though mining in Chiadwa is a free for all for those with Zanu (PF) collections. Zimbabweans have been robbed.

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga

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