Kurotwi launches book on diamonds

Diamond mining company, Core Mining and Mineral Resources founder, Lovemore Kurotwi yesterday rued how sabotage and corruption have hindered the country’s economic growth, saying graft was actually competing to be Zimbabwe’s number one industry.

Source: Kurotwi launches book on diamonds – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 14, 2016

BY Everson Mushava

Launching his 13th book, The Rise and Fall of Chiadzwa, My Personal Experience, Kurotwi said Zimbabwe’s future will remain bleak if the corruption scourge was not dealt with, and if no effort was made to improve corporate governance in both the government and the private sectors.

The book was published after he was acquitted of criminal charges of prejudicing the State of $2 billion in a botched diamond mining deal.

“And it is repeated here and now that if we want this, our Zimbabwe, to prosper, then we have to deal with the scourge of corruption once and for all,” Kurotwi said.

“In fact, corruption has become the number one industry in our country. Perhaps the only time a bribe is not asked for is when asking for directions, but even that is likely to happen if we do not seriously arrest corruption.”

He said his book showed how corruption had scuppered diamond revenue’s promise in turning around the country’s economy.

“In this book, I try and capture that and at length I try and show the vagaries of the pull him down syndrome, which seems to never want to leave us as Zimbabweans,” Kurotwi said.

“It is also public knowledge that in my bid to make Zimbabwe’s economy turn the corner, through its precious minerals, I ended up being incarcerated on trumped up charges, which really bordered on vindictiveness and personal vendettas.”

He said he was motivated to write the book by his concern for empowerment, good corporate governance and to end corruption.

“My personal experience in being disempowered and also being disadvantaged through the corrupt machinations of others is instructive and educative,” the recently acquitted Kurotwi said. The book, whose theme resonates with his first title, Black Empowerment Versus the Disempowerment of Blacks by Other Blacks, chronicles how he was pushed out of diamond mining through trumped up charges by former Mines minister Obert Mpofu after he allegedly alerted President Robert Mugabe that the now Economic Planning minister had demanded a $10 million bribe from him.

Mpofu then cancelled Core Mining’s operating licence in Chiadzwa and allegedly seized $10 million cash and diamonds worth $150 million. The $160 million, Kurotwi claimed in his book, has not been accounted for since.

“Both the $10 million in cash and the $150 million in diamonds disappeared as soon as Mpofu kicked us out.

“The cash and the diamonds have not been accounted for ever since. Everybody close to the case simply says ‘ask Minister Mpofu’, whenever they are asked about the whereabouts of the cash and the diamonds,” part of the book reads.

“But Mpofu calls himself the obedient son, so how do you ask the obedient son what he did with our Benjamins (US $100 bills) and our rough diamonds? So once again we are stuck.”

Kurotwi said it was high time the government and mining companies came out in the open about the diamond operations in Chiadzwa, saying transparency and beneficiation in the mining sector could help turn around the country’s economy.