Diamonds divide Zanu (PF)

Zanu (PF) heavyweights in Manicalandare feeling left out of the lucrative diamond mines run by Mines Minister Obert Mpofu and a few selected security chiefs.

Minister of Mines Obert Mpofu, Economics Minister - Elton Mngoma and youth Minister Savior Kasukuwere at Chiadzwa diamond mine in Mutare
Minister of Mines Obert Mpofu, Economics Minister – Elton Mngoma and youth Minister Savior Kasukuwere at Chiadzwa diamond mine in Mutare

Sources say party stalwarts like Didymus Mutasa and Mike Madiro are not happy with the fact that Mpofu, who hails from Matebeleland, is President Robert Mugabe’s point man in Chiadzwa.

“Mutasa regards himself as the most powerful Zanu (PF) member in Manicaland and he would like to see his people running the show in Chiadzwa. Like most Zimbabweans, he is not even aware of how the money is being used,” said a source. Party officials are chagrined by the fact that people like Mpofu have, in the space of a few years, accumulated eye-watering wealth.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti is on record saying that even though the MDC-T is aware that diamonds are being smuggled, it does not have evidence.

Last week Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara said that companies involved would not divulge the amount of diamonds.

“I then got information of how much they expected to mine so I did calculations based on the least prices one can get per carat I came up with$500 million,” said Mutambara.

Last week Global Witness revealed that most of the people involved in mining diamonds are securocrats hand-picked by Mugabe. It reveals that one company has among its directors members of the security services who have previously been implicated in vote-rigging and political violence in the run-up to elections.

The other is partly-owned by companies registered in tax havens such as Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands, making its beneficiaries virtually impossible to identify.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *