ZFTU accuses govt of failing to stop diamond looting

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THE Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU) has accused the government of failing to stop the continued looting of diamonds in Chiadzwa by influential people.

BY CLAYTON MASEKESA

Addressing delegates and representatives of diamond mining companies at Hotsprings in Nyanyadzi during the official launch of the Zimbabwe Diamond Miners Workers’ Union (ZDMWU) recently, ZFTU secretary-general Kennias Shamuyarira said it was sad that the government had failed to ensure that locals fully benefited from their natural resources.

“It is not a secret that some politicians and highly influential people are looting diamonds. We know that some private planes are secretly going to Chiadzwa to take our diamonds to other countries,” he alleged.

“The diamonds are smuggled out of the country by some mining companies and leaving us with nothing. There are crooks there in Chiadzwa as the miners take away our diamonds and only tell us that they were rough diamonds yet we have the best diamonds in the world. Why has the government failed to act on that?”

Shamuyarira added: “The politicians are the ones benefiting from the diamonds, as they are looting them. They are using their political power and influence to loot the diamonds and at the end our President (Robert) Mugabe is blamed for that.”

He said corruption and looting must be stopped forthwith.

Speaking at the same occasion, ZDMWU secretary-general Justice Chinhema said workers should have a stake in the diamond mining firms.

He said international investors mining diamonds in the country should employ local staff in all the departments.

“We have seen some of them importing staff to do jobs that our local staff are qualified to do. They (investors) should also use local goods wherever possible and promote local industry,” Chinhema said.

He said as a union, they supported the establishment of a diamond cutting and polishing centre, but were strongly calling on government to be transparent and ensure the interests of the locals first.