By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Vice president Constantino Chiwenga controversially facilitated the return of a dubious Chinese diamond company, Anjin Investments, after his medical trip to China in November 2019, Nehanda Radio can reveal.
Anjin Investments and other diamond companies were stopped from mining the diamond fields located in Marange by late former President Robert Mugabe’s administration in 2016 following allegations of failing to remit taxes.
Other companies included Mbada Diamonds, Diamond Mining Corporation, Jinan Investments, Marange Resources, Kusena and Gye Nyame.
Marange is a diamond-rich area located 400 kilometers east of the capital Harare within Manicaland Province.
The Zimbabwean government owns a 100 percent stake in Marange resources and 50 percent in the other six diamond mining entities in Marange.
Anjin Investments was mentioned by President Emmerson Mnangagwa as one of the companies which externalised US$200million. Regardless of its return, the issue of externalising the money has not been concluded.
According to a report seen by Nehanda Radio, compiled by Centre for Natural Resources Governance (CNRG), the return of Anjin Investment was influenced by Chiwenga endorsed by Mnangagwa hence it dribbled past the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) board.
The report also notes that Anjin investments are operating without scrutiny from Mnangagwa’s government.
“Anjin Investments, which is still under the directorship of Shingi Manyeruke, resumed operations in November 2019 immediately after the return of Vice President Chiwenga from a long medical treatment in China.
“CNRG had blown the whistle of Anjin’s intended return in July 2019 but the government was being secretive about it. Interviews conducted by CNRG with some general workers at Anjin show that the company management is a mixture of old and new officials,” read the report.
CNRG is also accusing the Chinese company of illegally mining in portal B in Marange yet its initial license before abrupt termination in 2016, was to operate in portal Q.
“Anjin is currently mining in Portal B concession in Marange diamond fields. Its initial license before abrupt termination in 2016, was to operate in portal Q. In May 2020, Anjin Investments was secretly awarded the right to mine in Portal B, which is under the concession of ZCDC by President Mnangagwa.
“The decision to award portal B to Anjin Investment was done unilaterally by the political leadership of the country, without consulting the ZCDC board. The decision did not go well with the board of ZCDC which led to its resignation in protest on the 25th of April 20205.
CNRG also argued that the Anjin Investments operations were hidden from parliament and public scrutiny, as was the case before the consolidation of companies.
The Auditor General and Parliament report, prior to its licence termination, had also raised the same issues, arguing that Anjin Investments had never produced financial reports from the period between its establishments to the time the government terminated its license.
“Existence of Anjin Investments without getting into partnership with government owned companies like ZCDC, to protect national interests, leaves a lot to be desired.
“The decision by the new government to award Anjin Investments without taking due diligence will lead to massive illicit financial flows and increased human rights abuses such as forced relocation without free, prior consent: environmental destruction: under development of Marange: Victimisation of community members staying closer to mines.
“At the time of its forced closure in 2016, Anjin Investments owed hundreds of its workers packages and salaries that were never paid until now,” read the report.
Anjin Investments is a joint venture between the Anhui Foreign Economic Construction (Group) Co Ltd (Afec), and Matt Bronze Enterprises, formed by Zimbabwe’s defense ministry and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.