HomeOpinion & AnalysisLettersAllowing diamond sales no panacea for Zimbabwe

Allowing diamond sales no panacea for Zimbabwe


Dear Editor
I wish to respond to the letter by Duran Rapozo (NewsDay July 14), which made interesting reading. In the letter, Rapozo said Zimbabwe is being denied her rights to sell diamonds.
Zimbabwe must be allowed to sell the diamonds “to support and feed its people”, he claims.
He made further insinuations to the effect that some countries were illegally and wrongly campaigning against Zimbabwe in the Kimberley Process.
Surprisingly, he went on to call on Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, who are victims of President Mugabe and Zanu PF’s failure, to embark on a massive campaign for Zimbabwe’s right to sell diamonds.
Whilst the idea of supporting and feeding people is good, talking about it in the contest of Zanu PF and their leader is neither fair nor funny. It seems Rapozo is oblivious to the fact that, at no particular time since 1980 did Zanu PF do anything to “support and feed the people”.
The history of leadership in our country is typified by a corrupt elite, whose penchant for mass impoverisation is second to none.
Given this background, one is made to wonder which planet Rapozo lives on for him to demand Zanu PF be given another chance after 30 years to “feed and support us”
Above all, the Chiadzwa diamonds phenomenon is recent. Diamonds are not Zimbabwe’s first minerals, neither are they the last. Zimbabwe is richly endowed with precious minerals which have been mined since 1980, for the benefit of the elite.
Since 2006 the Chiadzwa diamonds have been mined and nothing has gone towards feeding and supporting “the people”. Besides, nobody has accounted for the thousands of carats extracted so far.
Interestingly, people like Rapozo think Zimbabweans are gullible to cheap village propaganda.
Revenue from Zimbabwe’s mineral resources has been pillaged by leaders from Zanu PF. All the while, they claim to be doing it for “the people”. This greedy elite has for the past three decades shamelessly and selfishly dipped their fingers into minerals revenue.
That a minister from Zanu PF presiding over the Mines ministry can go into overdrive buying properties in Victoria Falls and other upmarket places is a classic example of how mineral wealth is being plundered by a few, all in the name of feeding us.
Today, one of Zanu PF’s top activists, Temba Mliswa, has more than 60 criminal cases hovering above his head, all of them related to plunder. Mliswa and company used the land reform programme — which they claimed was meant to feed us — to line their pockets. Today, Mliswa’s is a rags-to-riches story.
Rapozo also believes that allowing Zimbabwe to sell her diamonds will enable her to fund infrastructure development.
Interestingly, it is been a year and half since Zimbabweans were hoodwinked into believing that setting up tollgates on major roads would subsequently result in road refurbishment. Almost two years since toll gates were instituted, there is no single road that has benefitted save, for the Norton-Zvimba road, Mugabe’s highway to his rural home.
Equating Zimbabwe to Middle Eastern countries! Rapozo left me dumbfounded. The conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are more or less inter-state wars.
Zimbabwe has been in a war declared by leaders who have abused mineral resources to cling to power. These are the same people whose abuse Rapozo wants to extend — by allowing them to sell diamonds.
Given that, it is unthinkable to hear one demand that the same people be allowed to sell diamonds to feed us. If they failed to be accountable for platinum and gold proceeds, what guarantee is there they will be accountable with diamonds proceeds?
No one can deny that Zimbabwe’s mineral resources have been sold and the proceeds have been used to keep Mugabe in power. Minerals were sold to support Mugabe’s adventure in the DRC war. People like Rapozo want the same to happen with the Marange diamonds.
Since the turn of the millennium Mugabe and Zanu PF have declared war on the people of Zimbabwe for choosing not to elect them. No Zimbabwean in the Diaspora could buy into Rapozo’s propaganda.

Aaron Muzungu
MDC 99 Secretary for Information and Publicity

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