‘Diamond producers turned down consolidation plans’

Foreign investors in Marange turned down the government’s proposal to be amalgamated into one entity because the move would have stopped their looting sprees, President Robert Mugabe has said.

Source: ‘Diamond producers turned down consolidation plans’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 22, 2017


In a televised interview on Monday to mark his 93rd birthday by State broadcaster, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Mugabe said the government took a leaf from Botswana, Namibia and Angola, where diamond mining is in the hands of the State.

He said the government offered the Chinese, Lebanese and South African investors the opportunity to consolidate or go out.

“The Chinese said they wanted to go, the Lebanese said they wanted to go, the South Africans said they wanted to go. Mbada is owned by South Africans together with [Robert] Mhlanga. They didn’t want consolidation, so we said:
Why would you resent consolidation? It’s a get together, working together and then you share a product,” Mugabe said.

“Because they used to pocket everything they got, including Mbada.”

The Chinese were in Anjin, while the Lebanese operated Diamond Mining Corporation.

Last year, the government cancelled licences of diamond producers and created the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company to stop the looting after Mugabe had said the country lost at least $15 billion in seven years.

The affected diamond producers are Anjin, Diamond Mining Corporation, Jinan, Mbada, DTZ OZGEO, Rera, Gye Nyame, Kusena and Marange Resources.

The government wholly-owns Marange Resources, through the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), and had a stake in each of the remaining seven companies.

Mugabe said the earnings from the diamond producers were not accounted for and “they just regarded them as their own earnings and nothing seems to have come to ZMDC, which was a partner”.

“In turn, nothing seems to have come to the government as revenue,” he said.