Anjin denies stockpiling diamonds

Diamond mining company Anjin Investments has reportedly been stockpiling a significant amount of diamonds this year because it does not want to remit tax to an MDC ministry.

Mining companies are required to remit 15% income tax, 10% withholding tax on remitted dividends and a three percent royalty. Anjin is a 50-50 shareholding arrangement between the Chinese and government, with the local stake is reportedly controlled by the security sector sympathetic to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF). A source at Anjin Mine in Chiadzwa told The Zimbabwean the company was stockpiling the gems in Harare and Mutare, even though it is now certified by Kimberly Process, the global diamond watchdog, to sell all its stones.

Anjin has eight massive processing plants that sometimes produced as much as 40,000 carats a day, said the source. But Anjin is also the lowest paying company in the area. More than 1,500 workers went on strike recently, demanding that their salaries be raised on par with what their counterparts were getting. The company reportedly fired all striking workers and replaced them with card-carrying Zanu (PF) youths.

Anjin board member, Munyaradzi Machacha, vehemently denied allegations that the company was not selling its diamonds, saying that was “propaganda coming from (Finance Minister) Biti”.

He said the company sold its diamonds periodically through an auction system.

“Sales are being made and there is no stockpiling taking place. We are not selling buns in some supermarket where people will just walk in and buy. We have to go through a tender process which requires that we first advertise,” he said.

He also dismissed allegations the company was extracting as much as 40,000 carats a day. “I can’t give you the exact figures because they are not constant. We get in the range of 1,000 and 2,000 carats daily,” he said.

He said security was so tight there was no room for any leakages of the gems into the black market, and denied the army had shares in Anjin.

“What I know is that Anjin is owned by government, I have never heard of the army having shares. It’s part of the popular fiction that people are throwing around,” he said.

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