HomeLocal NewsGovt should audit Marange diamonds: CNRG

Govt should audit Marange diamonds: CNRG

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A LOCAL governance and transparency watchdog, Centre for Natural Resources Governance (CNRG), has urged government to conduct an independent audit of Marange diamonds dating back to 2009 to enforce accountability in the mining sector and plug leakages.

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This follows a recent acknowledgement by Vice-President Joice Mujuru that Zimbabwe has nothing to show for its diamond wealth which has virtually enriched foreigners and a few well-connected politicians involved in the diamond mining sector.

Mujuru recently told a church gathering that India had built a “whole town” called Surat from proceeds of smuggled diamonds from Zimbabwe.

CNRG said government should set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the operations of mining companies in Marange as well as the institutional capacity of State departments and ministries governing the diamond sector.

“CNRG calls on government to carry out extra-territorial investigations on how Marange diamonds have been smuggled and attempt to recover the stolen wealth,” the centre said.

“Her (Mujuru’s) realisation comes at a time diamonds in Marange are reportedly running out. She is trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted. She didn’t mention any intention to bring the corrupt officials and their syndicates to book,” the centre said.

CNRG has since 2013 called for local cutting and polishing of diamonds as a way to promote backward and forward linkages in the diamond sector.

“Her remarks are however an exaggeration since the town of Surat was in existence as early as the 8th century, whilst in 2005, a year before diamonds were discovered in Marange, its diamond polishing industry had phenomenally grown to the extent of cutting 92% of all rough diamonds produced in the world, thereby earning India approximately $15 billion annually,” the centre said.

The CNRG said regardless of the place where the diamonds are tendered, most of the gems end up in Surat where they are creating employment and generating revenue for India.

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