Politburo plans to grab all diamond mines

Zanu (PF) wants to control all diamond mining inZimbabwe, according to a senior official. A member of the Politburo, who cannot be named for security reasons, told The Zimbabwean last week that at a recent meeting the party’s policy makers resolved to take control of all diamond mines.

“I do not know how they are going to do it, but this is what the party is planning,” said the source.

The Diamond Act, still being debated by the cabinetcommittee on legislation, proposes giving management contractsto the private companies currently mining diamonds.

“The politburo is saying there are some companies who have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe who are dominating the diamond sub-sector andall these mines must be taken over,” he added.

He revealed that Zanu (PF) was specifically targeting Murowa and River Ranch, both owned by De Beers, emphasizing that the South African mining giant faced total expropriation.

“We have resolved that the party will continue to push for thee xploitation of all the resources in the country and we are sayingempowerment cannot be limited to diamonds, let alone specific deposit areas like Chiadzwa,” explained the politburo member.

He said Zanu (PF) had resolved that 2012 should be aturning point in the overall indigenization and empowerment drive. The Chiadzwa diamond fields have already been nationalized and highly militarized. The companies allowed to operate there have all been appointed by Zanu (PF). They include Mbada Diamonds, which has very close links to top party officials and is run by the military, and the Chinese-run Anjin Investments.

Human rights abuses in Chiadzwa, documented by Human Rights Watch and other international organisations, continue unabated amid tight security.

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