Lifeline for diamond companies
By John Kachembere
At least six diamond companies that were ordered to shut down by government more than two years ago could make a comeback following the drafting of a new diamond policy.
In February 2016, government moved to consolidate the diamond mining industry and ceased operations for the other six companies — Anjin, Diamond Mining Company, Mbada Diamonds, DTZ Ozgeo, Gye-Nyame and Kusena — after the “expiry of their licenses”.
However, the move to ban the six diamond mining firms quickly backfired as the country started experiencing acute cash shortages, which have seen financial institutions limiting cash withdrawals and a resurgent of the parallel market.
In a move aimed at improving production and increasing revenue streams, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said government is working on a new diamond policy that will result in more companies being involved in diamond mining.
“I am sure you are aware that under the old administration, we banned seven or so companies, which were mining diamonds and we created one company. We have now realised that one company has no capacity to deal with the exploitation of this mineral, so we are in the process, with Mines minister Winston Chitando,” he said at a women’s interactive meeting last week.
Chitando is expected to present the new diamond policy, which also seeks to empower local communities, in Cabinet this week.
The latest development comes after Mbada Diamonds was last week granted a Supreme Court interdict stopping the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company from looting its ore dumps. DailyNews