via Tsvangirai says ZANU-PF sold 30 000 carats of diamonds to steal the elections 26 October 2013 by Charles Rukuni InsiderZim
Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai says senior Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front leaders and military generals smuggled 30 000 carats of diamonds in April and May to raise funds which they used to steal the 31 July elections.
In a paper he presented at the Oxford University on Thursday evening, Tsvangirai, who lost the elections to Robert Mugabe of ZANU-PF, said he had “impeccable information” on how the 30 000 carats were sold through an intermediary in Angola.
Tsvangirai won only 34 percent of the vote down from 48 percent in 2008 while his party ended up with 49 seats in the lower house. It had 100 in 2008.
Though he has withdrawn petitions challenging the election results Tsvangirai still described them as “disputed elections”.
He said that Zimbabwe’s diamonds had turned into a curse instead of a blessing and were benefitting only a minority while the majority suffered.
Zimbabwe started mining diamonds in 1995 through the opening of River Ranch Mine in Beitbridge but the mine was closed down three years later.
There was controversy about its ownership following its re-opening with a consortium of Saudi Arabian businessman Adel Aujan and Kupukile Resources owned by Solomon Mujuru eventually taking over the mine in 2004.
Zimbabwe, however, only came onto the diamond map in 2006 following the rush in the alluvial diamonds at Marange which were discovered by De Beers in 2002, though it never officially exploited them.
Government intervention into the chaos at Marange led to the country’s suspension from the Kimberley Process Certification Process, but though this was lifted two years ago, the company was still not able to trade its diamonds openly because of sanctions.
The European Union lifted sanctions on the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation after the 31 July elections but the United States still maintains its sanctions which effectively means that Zimbabwe still has problem getting its money from the sale of diamonds as the money has to be cleared in the United States.