Govt urged to investigate diamond mining companies executives

THE Centre for Research and Development (CRD) has said the government must investigate all diamond executives involved in Marange diamond mining and hold them to account for resource plunder and human rights violations during the mining transition period.

120316070546-pkg-curnow-marange-diamonds-00002418-story-topGovernment last month ceased operations of nine diamond companies following their failure to renew their licenses. It is against this background that government will centralise its oversight in the exploitation of diamonds by merging all diamond players in the newly formed Zimbabwe Consolidation Diamond Company (ZCDC).
In an interview with The Zimbabwean yesterday the CRD Acting Director James Mupfumi said diamond mining operations in Marange have been a site of lack of transparency and accountability since commencement of mining operations in 2008.
“Opaque mining practices have deeply impoverished local communities whilst pillaging the country’s natural resource for individual gain,” said Mupfumi. “The CRD is however concerned that government has already started the consolidation process without undertaking due diligence processes that would have forced mining companies to account for economic plunder of Zimbabwe’s diamonds,” he said.
Mupfumi called for the immediate withdrawals of all military personnel in Marange diamond fields and strengthen police operations to maintain law and order during the transitional period. “We would also want to call for the immediate freezing of all company assets in the diamond fields and initiate due diligence processes.
Companies must submit audited reports and government must have them published during this period,” he said. “We are deeply concerned that prior to the merger, government has not instituted independent audits on all mining operations in Marange where government is a major shareholder. Again there is no feedback from the minister of mines on the order he gave to mining companies to submit audited financial reports to government in June 2015,” Mupfumi said.
He emphasized that audited reports on Marange diamonds were critical to provide direction to the mergers if the issue of transparency and accountability was to be of priority to government.

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