Diamonds must transform the lives of Zimbabweans

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai today has wrapped his two day tour of Chiadzwa diamond fields in Marange and ARDA Transau in Odzi were families who were disturbed by mining activities are being relocated.

Morgan Tsvangirai and his  delegation visits Chiadzwa to
Morgan Tsvangirai and his delegation visits Chiadzwa to

Addressing the media, local community and his delegation, PM Tsvangirai said people would only be able to talk of their country's successes only if they are empowered from their natural resources.

He said in most cases, African countries, usually receive a “curse” whenever they are two are discoveries on their land, thus oil and diamond.

But PM Tsvangirai said for Zimbabwe the discovery of diamonds in the country is not a curse but a blessing for the country.

“When I arrived at Marange diamond fields I said to myself hey our natural resources are getting finished whilst we are in Harare. But we said the country must show what its economy represent,”he said.

He said the heated debate in the Cabinet was about who is benefitting from the country`s wealth.

“The heated debate in the Cabinet is who is benefiting a lot from the country`s wealth. Some they say there are individual, whilst others think they are ministers or MPs. If there are civil servants then it’s us who eating alone.Nyaya yekudya iyi yakaoma. The bottom line is that our country is blessed but we must show transparency in the way we market, exploit trade the germs as a country,” he said.

The Prime Minister said he was satisfied with the operations being carried out by companies granted licences in Marange.

He said diamonds should be major contributor to the fiscus, adding that there was need for government to formulate policy that will make sure that the money raised from diamond sales will be channeled to the fiscus to meet the needs of the civil servants and other government needs.

He said the tour was an eye opener because it exposed ministers to the real situation on the ground and gives them an opportunity to debate on position of knowledge rather than theory.

“Those who have visited this area will now appreciate that the country is wealth. We will all try to be transparent because we all know that Zimbabwe has all resources to take off,” he said.

Commenting on the houses being built by companies to affected families in Odzi, PM Tsvangirai said Arda Transau must be used as a model for the resettlement.

“I was very impressed by what I saw and you will all agree with me that this can be used a model of resettlement. Reproducing our old model of thatched houses should be a thing of the past. There should be transformation and improvement on where are living,” he said.

The houses comprised of four bedrooms, a hut, a toilet and a bathroom.

They are built on a one hectare land and the companies will develop a once acre for irrigation and one hectare for dry planting. They have access to tap water, modern schools and clinics.

The Prime Minister toured Diamond Mining Company (DMC) which has a partnership with Pure Diamonds, Mbada Diamonds, Anjin Investments and Marange Resources.

The premier had a briefing with the management of the various companies and toured their operation plants. Marange Resources has the largest mining concession measuring to 9 550 hectares while Mbada is second with 6 900 hectares.

Anjin Investment has 4 886 hectares and covers 42square kilometers. This is the Premier’s first visit to the diamond area since he took office as the Head of Government in 2009.

His first attempt to visit the area last year failed after he was advised to seek for permission from Mines and Mining minister Obert Mpofu, but the Premier argued that he was the Head of Government and could not consult a minister to visit an area to access government programmes.

The premier was accompanied by a delegation of government minister`s who include Finance minister Tendai Biti,Social Amenities minister Giles Mutsekwa,Labour and Social Welfare minister Paurina Mpariwa,Economic and Investment Promotion minister Tapiwa Mashakada,Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara,Mines and Mining minister Obert Mpofu and Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development minister Joseph Made.

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