‘Diamond-cutting centre to be complete by year-end’

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CONSTRUCTION of a $200 million diamond and cutting facility in Mt Hampden, Harare, which is set to be completed by year-end has resumed, Zimbabwe Diamond Technology Centre (ZDTC) chairman Lovemore Kurotwi said yesterday.

CHIEF REPORTER

The diamond technology centre will house all diamond associates ranging from miners, diamond dealers, cutters and polishers, jewellers, financial institutions and government regulatory authorities.

The centralisation of all the aspects will address accountability, security, and transparency issues affecting the diamond industry.

According to Kurotwi, the world diamond industry could generate $71 billion in finished products of which Zimbabwe, as a major producer of diamonds, could earn about $21 billion annually from selling finished jewelry products.

Addressing a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines that toured the centre, Kurotwi said the multi-million dollar project would centralise all aspects relating to diamonds to ensure that business in the precious stone sector was done speedily, efficiently and transparently for the benefit of the country.

The committee, led by Lovemore Matuke, wanted to establish how the diamond centre would benefit the country as a major diamond-producing country, and promised to invite to Parliament for further clarifications on the project’s contribution to the economy.

“Diamonds, although mined by private companies in some instances, are a national product which must be managed professionally, transparently and for the benefit of the nation,” Kurotwi said.

“The ZDTC complements government’s efforts through ZimAsset in various ways such as indigenisation and empowerment, job creation and beneficiation. The centre will warehouse 500 factories and create about 100 000 jobs when complete.”

He said the construction of the centre would facilitate a model where people who want local diamonds will be expected to come to Zimbabwe as no raw diamond will have to be exported.

Kurotwi said he had also purchased a machine that would ascertain the value of diamonds at the centre in order to move away from the traditional process where the buyer would determine the value of the diamond on behalf of the country.

Diamond Beneficiation Association of Zimbabwe (DBAZ) chairman Richard Mvududu pleaded with the parliamentarians to review policies that were stifling beneficiation programmes in the diamond industry.

He said the cost of licence fees pegged at $100 000 a year was too high while the licence tenure was too short to attract investors.
“In 2011, there were 28 polishers and they were reduced to eight in 2012, and by 2013, only one was operating,” he said.

ADBAZ member Harold Muvuti said Zimbabwe’s biggest enemy in the diamond business was policies that did not allow locals to freely trade in diamonds except through the Mineral Marketing Corporation. He said Zimbabwe had the potential to become a world jewellry dealer because it had vast diamond resources.

10 COMMENTS

  1. When the idea of a diamond cutting centre was first mooted a few years ago Supa Mandiwanzira was at the forefront of the project. Now that he is a Minister in Mugabe’s cabinet is he still at the forefront or is he going to use a “front” to act on his behalf? You see,anything is possible with ZANU PF officials. See what they have done to our parastatals. And now Mai Mujuru goes public to voice her displeasure with the private press for exposing the rot in her party. Where will all this sham end?

  2. Why everything in and to Harare? How do other places then grow and develop? Harare or the roundabout provinces do not produce diamonds. This facility should be located in Mutare/Chimanimani near Chiyadzwa, Zvishavane near Murowa, or Beitbridge which hosts River Ranch.

  3. Chombo and his comrades have turned Harare into a tribal hub where others from elsewhere cannot rise. It’s not a national capital. Leave resources to develop their areas of origin and not to grow Harare which is a tribal centre.

  4. This Centralisation of the Diamond beneficiation industry could have been done in Mutare, which is closer to Chiadzwa, thus reducing costs in the value chain.

    This could have generated thousands of jobs for the locals and spurred industrilisation and economic growth of the City of Mutare and the region/province.

    That way we could ensure the country’s balanced economic development, reduce population movement to Harare and congestion in that city. Property values would rise in Mutare due to the usual multiplier effects!!

  5. Please take this centre to mutare where the diamonds are found do as to cut transport costs and help develop whole nation not only Harare

  6. How is the government going to pay the civil servants’ when it sells 300 000 carats for 10 million dollars come guys don’t take us for fools even at the lowest price of 100 dollars per carat you were supposed to get 300 million dollars.

    Sometimes when you read in the paper people saying Ian Smith was better they are right, with smith everything worked.

    With us blacks all we know is stealing, cheating, looting and destroying things, are black people even capable of anything everything we have touched as the black government for the people by the people has be laid to waste.

    We inherited the best performing economy in Africa now look at us a basket case, beggars, a disgrace even the President once said it when he was in South Africa that if you are being served by a waiter or waitress in a South Africa Hotel 9 out of 10 times it’s a Zimbabwean.

    Nothing is working in Zimbabwe nothing no power, no water, no health care, no affordable quality education, no nothing.l am ashamed to even say l am from Zimbabwe.

  7. Zanu yaura nyika, uye hadiwi noruzhinji except the few who are at the helm of looting and corruption. Muchamama one day.All scandolous acts are being recorded and audits will come.nxa!!

  8. Taneta nemazezuru isu. Why in Mt Hampden and not in Manicaland where most of the diamonds are coming from? We are tired of this bambazonke culture! We are tired.

  9. Chiregai muone Cornway College staff yochishaya salary yeterm ino yose. Mafees ese oenda kudiamond centre forgetting that the children paying fees need proper service from teachers. I bet my last dollar if the college is going to pay its staff this February onwards. Kurotwi and Chiyangwa fanana!

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