$58m diamond revenue missing

A cabinet minister last week told a Harare Chamber of Mines breakfast seminar that only $19,5 million were received from diamond revenue during January and February out of the expected $77, 5 million.

Economic Planning and  Investment Promotion minister Tapiwa Mashakada
Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Tapiwa Mashakada

Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion, Tapiwa Mashakada, said he had visited the diamond fields recently and was convinced that the Kimberly Process Certification scheme was being observed but suspected that the source of leakages was at marketing level.

He told the seminar government was now expecting another $41,5 million from diamond revenues for March.

“The government is expecting to raise about $320 million in revenues during March and diamond revenues are expected to contribute US$41.5 million to that.”

According to the 2012 national budget, diamond sales are expected to contribute $600 million to the fiscus following the certification of Marange diamond sales by the Kimberly Process Certification scheme in November 2011.

It is feared slow remittances of diamond revenues will affect salary increases for government employees. The salaries had been approved in anticipation of the increased revenues.

Mashakada also revealed that Zimbabwe had sold tobacco worth $135, 81 million in 33 days.

“There is a high demand for Zimbabwean tobacco, following the reduction in global output by about 200 million kilogrammes,” said the minister.

The crop is expected to be around 150 million kgs, up from 130 million kgs in the past season. In 2001 the total output of the crop reached 210 million kgs before reaching an all time low of less than 48 million kilogrammes in 2008.

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