Zimbabwe has finally received full payment for diamond auctions conducted in Dubai in March and is lining up more sales in the emirate, Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa said on Friday, but the government is looking for alternative brokers after those who facilitated the UAE trades reportedly held onto payments.
Earlier this month, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa told state media that the Dubai Diamond Exchange “had failed the test” following its inability to timeously remit payment of proceeds from the March auctions.
But Chidhakwa told journalists on the sidelines of the annual Chamber of Mines general meeting in Victoria Falls, that government will continue gem auctions in Dubai, which President Robert Mugabe visited in April.
He, however, did not say when the next Dubai auction would be held, saying government was still assessing current levels of production before fixing dates.
“We are reconsidering the facilitator because we have problems with the facilitator. We have no problems with the Dubai auction floors. We have used them for many years, but when you have a facilitator who doesn’t do a good job, you don’t then condemn the floor,” Chidhakwa said, when asked if the Dubai debacle meant a return to Antwerp.
He, however, said government could use facilitators in Antwerp for the Dubai auctions.
Almost 400,000 carats were sold in a maiden auction at the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), with Global Diamond Tenders facilitating the trade.