via ‘ZMDC told us to dishonour trust fund’ March 10, 2014 NewsDay by Tarisai Mandizha
The Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) reportedly told Marange-based Diamond Mining Corporation (DMC) managing director Ramzi Malik not to make cash contributions towards the Zimunya Marange Community Trust Fund, Parliament heard last week.
Malik, who was speaking before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment last Thursday, confirmed they had not made any contribution towards the Zimunya Marange Community Ownership Trust after being ordered to do so by the Godwills Masimirembwa-led ZMDC board.
DMC is a 50-50 joint venture company between Dubai-based firm Pure Diam and government-owned ZMDC.
ZMDC was established by an Act of Parliament in 1982 to invest, plan and co-ordinate mining development projects on behalf of government and to engage in exploration and mineral beneficiation programmes.
Malik said: “We were told by ZMDC to leave it and we were left in the dark regarding all concerns and with no follow up or clarity on the matter. DMC regretfully has not made any contribution to the Zimunya Marange Community Trust Fund. This was not due to a lack of effort on our side, but rather as a breakdown of communication and follow up by all involved in honouring the pledge.”
Ironically, when President Robert Mugabe launched the trust in 2012 amid pomp and fanfare, he was allegedly misled into believing that DMC was among five diamond firms operating in the area that had pledged to contribute $10 million each towards the scheme.
However, four companies last week distanced themselves from the alleged pledge.
These include Mbada Diamonds, DMC, Marange Resources and Anjin Investments.
Malik said DMC wanted to contribute towards the scheme, but had been waiting for the green light to contribute at least $1,5 million.
Speaking before the same committee, Anjin Investments director Munyaradzi Machacha said his company had failed to contribute its $1,5 million pledge to the fund due to viability problems.
“I spoke with (former Indigenisation minister Saviour) Kasukuwere and he knew there was no money and the President presented a dummy cheque,” Machacha said.
“But we never pledged $10 million.”