via Diamond firms leave Mugabe in the cold March 8, 2014 by Tarisai Mandizha NewsDay
THE country’s four leading diamond mining firms yesterday distanced themselves from a $50 million dummy cheque presented to the Zimunya Marange Community Ownership Trust by President Robert Mugabe in 2012.
Addressing members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment chaired by Gokwe Nembudziya MP Justice Wadyajena, the diamond firms’ directors said they did not make any pledges towards the scheme. When the scheme was launched, Mugabe was given the impression that each of the mining firms operating in Manicaland had pledged $10 million for the community development initiative.
Mbada Diamonds chairperson Robert Mhlanga said the company didn’t make any pledge towards the Zimunya Marange Community Ownership Trust and was unaware of the $50 million cheque which Mugabe presented to the community. He, however, said Mbada Diamonds had to date contributed $200 000 for the trust which was sent through the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.
Marange Resources acting chief executive officer Mark Mabhudhu said: “As Marange, we were told we were to contribute a total of $2 million and the $48 million would come from the other mining companies.”
Ramzi Malik, managing director of Diamond Mining Corporation, said they had not made any contribution towards the scheme due to a breakdown in communication with the other responsible ministries. Anjin Investments’ director Munyaradzi Machacha, said the company had made a pledge of $1,5 million but was unable to pay due to viability challenges that the company was currently facing.