Finalise diamonds audit says MDC Renewal Team

Top Zanu (PF) officials benefiting from the unscrupulous mining and sale of diamonds from the rich Marange fields are now taking advantage of the prolonged silence on the matter by civil society groups, says MDC Renewal Team spokesman Jacob Mafume.

MDC Renewal Team spokesman Jacob Mafume.
MDC Renewal Team spokesman Jacob Mafume.

“Zanu (PF) officials have been stealing the diamonds from the nation to an extent where people have now become tired of speaking about it. The people have just given up.

“However, the matter needs a conclusive end. We still see foreigners frequenting the Marange diamond fields clad in expensive jewellery and obviously coming for the diamond transactions. Aeroplanes are still flying in and out – just the same way they were doing when the CSOs were making noise about the stealing of our diamonds. We need all these organisations to regroup and insist on an audit of the diamonds,” said Mafume.

The last time there was talk on the underhand diamond dealings in Marange was in February when the government claimed it had realised a paltry $11.5 million out of the $80.5 million raised from the sale of the gems in Belgium.

CSOs then emerged guns blazing, accusing the Zanu (PF) government of stifling the diamond revenue through calculated and deliberate practices.

Though calls were made for all mining operations at the fields to be stopped to allow for an audit, lately there has been deafening silence over the matter and even the Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa, who had given in and pledged to spearhead the exercise, has ignored the matter.

“We have a country like Botswana, which is ranked one of the richest in Africa – but relies on one mineral, diamonds. Hordes of our countrymen go there to be employed as gardeners – yet we not only also have the mineral but other vast resources also. This simply means that if an audit is carried out on our diamonds and recommendations made on how we can move forward, we can boost the ailing economy and alleviate the related problems all of us are facing right now,” said Mafume.

He said the renewal team, led by former Finance Minister Tendai Biti, believes there is need for an apolitical committee of experts to be set up to deal with the revival of the economy before any talk of holding elections.

“Let’s tell Zanu (PF) to keep its security sector, have a sway over the media and all the other things they want to cling on – but they must accept that there be a committee of experts tasked with reviving the economy. It has happened in Greece and Turkey. It works. After that then we can talk of going for elections when everyone has become economically stable,” he said.

Post published in: News
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