MUTARE – Minister of State for Manicaland Monica Mutsvangwa, has warned that government is ‘‘digging deep’’ into the Chiadzwa diamond looting saga and arrests would certainly be made.
Her threats are on the back of claims by former president Robert Mugabe that over $15 billion in diamonds money was looted.
Mutsvangwa said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration was making efforts to establish what transpired in the extraction and sale of the highly valuable Chiadzwa gems, and would bring culprits to book.
“You have seen that already the new government is digging deep and people will be arrested,” she told a meeting with provincial heads of government ministries, departments and parastatals this week.
She acknowledged that poor accountability and transparency in the management of the diamonds was an emotive issue to the Chiadzwa locals who were expecting to benefit from the resource as a community.
“The people of Manicaland also want to know because this is their resource too,” Mutsvangwa said.
She said it was within the locals’ right to demand an explanation, as they are entitled to benefit through infrastructural development and other social amenities.
“I have since approached the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) and told them that the people of Manicaland’s bone of contention is what happened and what could still be happening.
“It may not be a resource of the people of Manicaland alone but they also want to benefit from its extraction…Why are roads not being built? Why are clinics not being built? Why are schools not being built, refurbished or buying books for children?” Mutsvangwa questioned.
She said ZCDC pledged to improve transparency and ensure that local communities would also benefit.
“I think they have some explanations and work has been going on… they are expecting to make some sales in January and have pledged to channel some of the proceeds to local communities,” Mutsvangwa said.