HomeLocalEU diplomats set to visit Marange diamond fields

EU diplomats set to visit Marange diamond fields

The diplomats will also visit Arda Transau where villagers from Marange were relocated.

Early this year, the EU renewed its restrictive measures against rough diamonds from Marange area describing them as blood gems. The measures will be in place until February 2013.

The visit by the diplomats comes after a tour by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his delegation, members of parliament and members from civil society as government opens up to scrutiny after getting the nod to sell diamonds from Marange last year.

Prince Mupazviriho, Mines and Mining Development permanent secretary told The Standard the visit “has been a standing invitation to the diplomats to see our system on the compliance of the Kimberley Process”.

Four companies — Mbada Diamonds, Marange Resources, Anjin and Diamond Mining Corporation — are mining diamonds on the resource-rich fields.
The companies are working in partnership with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) which holds title to the 120 000 hectare concession.

ZMDC, which  wholly owns Marange Resources, has a 50-50 joint venture with foreign companies in Mbada and DMC.
Finance minister Tendai Biti told our sister paper, the Zimbabwe Independent that ZMDC was supposed to partner the Chinese in Anjin, which is not the case.

Revenue from diamonds is expected to contribute US$600 million to this year’s national budget.

The target is now off the mark as contributions in the first quarter of the year have been pathetic.

Between January and March, revenue from diamonds was at US$30,5 million against a target of US$122,5 million.

Biti told civil society organisations last month that the underperformance of the diamonds was worsened by the fact that Anjin had not contributed anything to the fiscus despite being the biggest diamond producer in Marange.

He has also claimed some of the revenue from diamonds was being used by Zanu PF to fund a parallel government.

Biti proposed far-reaching reforms that include the removal of diamonds from the wings of ZMDC to a new entity.

Biti said once that was in place, the country would be able to force the repeal of US sanctions imposed on two diamond producers, Mbada and Marange Resources last year.

Biti said he got guarantees from three US assistant secretaries of State — Michael Posner (State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour), Jose Fernandez (Economic and Business Affairs) and Johnnie Carson (Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs) — early this year that the sanctions would be removed once the reforms have been completed.

Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading