Minister Moyo and the diamond revenue lie
By Wilbert Mukori
“Diamond revenues from alluvial diamond mining have dramatically shrunk. We now need to come terms with this reality,” said Minister of Information Professor Jonathan Moyo on Twitter in response to a question on where diamond revenue was being channelled.
When the diamonds were first discovered the discovery was valued at $800 billion. Zanu PF has used the diamonds as a source of unparalleled riches for a select few and to finance the party’s own “parallel government” as the former Finance Minister in the coalition government, Tendai Biti, rightly put it.
When Biti started to complain about how little revenue he was getting from Marange; Mugabe and his cronies decided all the mining activities would be pushed under the radar.
In 2013 a parliamentary report by the late Edward Chindori-Chininga said no one in government had any idea who was mining in Marange, how many kilogrammes in uncut diamonds were being shipped out daily, the quality of the diamonds, nothing.
The report confirmed that the looting and plunder in Marange was now truly happening and all under the radar. The nation is being robbed clean of its greatest treasure – Marange and Chiadzwa diamonds.
Now Professor Moyo wants the whole nation to accept the fact that Marange and Chiadzwa diamonds are for the exclusive use of Mugabe and his cronies.
So as far as Moyo is concerned all the Zimbabwe public need to know is that Chiadzwa and Marange diamonds never even existed.
Last week the Mail and Guardian reported that the Zimbabwe Army/ Police and CIO were muscling out the Ministry of Mines on the $4.8 billion Platinum deal with Russians.
The same security sector consortium has been active in Marange and they want the same deal. The Russians have been pushing for the deal with the security sector guys because it will mean paying no tax on any of the platinum mined for the first five years, just as the operators in Marange are not paying any tax.
“The ministry also wants the benefits of the deal to accrue to Zimbabweans and treasury, rather than the army. We don’t want a repeat of the Chiadzwa scenario where the country is not truly benefiting from its diamonds.
“The army partnered the Chinese in mining diamonds, but the country has nothing to show for the resource,” a ministry of Mines Official told the Mail and Guardian.
No doubt Minister Jonathan Moyo will soon be twittering the nation that all the millions of ounces of platinum worth billions of dollars were all a figment of our imagination.
How is it possible that a nation of 12 million people in this day and age can be cheated of their national inheritance worth billions of dollars every year and do nothing about it? How can Zimbabweans be so indifferent to matters affecting their own lives?