via Diamond conference amid crisis – The Zimbabwe Independent 31 October 2014
ZIMBABWE will hold the 2014 diamond conference in Harare on Thursday and Friday next week where a number of issues affecting the diamond industry will come under the spotlight amid a crisis at Marange fields.
The conference, which will be opened by President Robert Mugabe, will be attended by ministers responsible for mining in South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo among other dignitaries.
One of the organisers of the conference told businessdigest the event will take stock the diamond sector at a time mining companies at Marange are badly struggling.
“These conferences are meant to consolidate our gains and focus the industry on a particular trajectory of growth and emphasise the key elements on which the growth will be underpinned,” he said.
The conference comes at a time when Zimbabwean diamonds worth US$45 million that were on auction in Belgium were recently attached by a group of 12 white commercial farmers.
This was to get payment to compensate them for a breach in a bilateral investment treaty where their farms were seized under the land reform programme.
Some of the diamond sales have registered paltry returns with one sale raising just US$5 million in revenue. The sale of diamonds has been widely criticised for its failure to galvanise economic recovery amid allegations of corruption, smuggling and looting.