Chipinge West MP, Adam Chimwamurombe (Zanu PF) was booed by angry stakeholders at a Manicaland Alternative Mining Indaba, after he tried in vain to defend government over corruption allegations in the mining of diamonds at Chiadzwa.
Source: Mining stakeholders boo Zanu PF MP – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 9, 2016
BY CLAYTON MASEKESA
The Zanu PF MP got more than he had bargained for when he tried to shoot down a presentation on consolidation of diamond mining companies by Musikavanhu MP, Prosper Mutseyami (MDC-T), who alleged government and Zanu PF officials looted diamonds at Chiadzwa.
“You (Mutseyami) should present facts as they are. Your presentation should be based on true facts and not opinion. That presentation is your own opinion. There is no corruption at Chiadzwa,” Chimwamurombe said on Tuesday during a plenary session at the two-day indaba organised by the Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers’ Association.
But, before he could continue, he was massively booed by angry stakeholders, who interjected and ordered him to keep quiet and sit down.
Civil society activists said they were shocked by the Zanu PF legislator’s assertions.
“Maybe, he (Chimwamurombe) does not stay in Zimbabwe. The people that come from the diamond areas have nothing to show,” George Kurauone, from ARDA Transau Development Trust, said.
The director of the Centre for Natural Resource Governance, Farai Maguwu, alleged Ministry of Mines and Mining Development permanent secretary, Francis Gudyanga knew how the billions of dollars in diamond revenue disappeared.
“In 2013, the United Arab Emirates appointed Gudyanga to the Board of Dubai Diamonds Exchange, presumably for the purpose of weakening Zimbabwe’s internal controls. In any case, it’s clear that a permanent secretary of the Mines ministry of a diamond producing country, who also sits on the board of a major trading platform in a diamond industry hub, is heavily conflicted,” Maguwu told the indaba.
He said in the spirit of promoting transparency and ethical conduct in the diamond sector in the country, Gudyanga must step down from the Board of Dubai Diamond Exchange.
“Gudyanga is serving two masters with conflicting interests. Hard choices must be made, whether he should serve our government and people, or foreign business interests,” Maguwu said.
He alleged Gudyanga was aware of the illicit sourcing of Zimbabwean diamonds.
“He is allowing foreign traders to buy diamonds at artificially low prices and reselling them at top dollar. Zimbabwe is getting peanuts from the sale of its rough diamonds, all under Gudyanga’s watch,” the activist said.
“In fact, he must be arrested. Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison should be full of people like Gudyanga.
“Diamonds in Zimbabwe are in the hands of a few people. How can diamonds that generated over $15 billion for people far away from Marange create such abject poverty at the point of origin?”
Gudyanga, who is under fire for the mess at the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company, could not be reached for comment yesterday.