AMHVoices:Govt justified in closing diamond mines

The decision by government to stop operations of nine diamond companies at Chiadzwa following their failure to renew their licences is commendable.

By Peacemaker Zano,Our Reader

Muddied prospectors pan for gold in Manica Province, near the Zimbabwe border, September 17, 2010. Hundreds of miners work in individual claims rented from local landowners.   REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic  (MOZAMBIQUE - Tags: SOCIETY EMPLOYMENT BUSINESS)

Muddied prospectors pan for gold in Manica Province, near the Zimbabwe border, September 17, 2010. Hundreds of miners work in individual claims rented from local landowners. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic (MOZAMBIQUE – Tags: SOCIETY EMPLOYMENT BUSINESS)

It is essential for all mining companies to comply with government policies for their businesses to be safe.

Government does not just wake up and order these mining firms to cease their operations.

When these mining companies applied for their licences, I believe an agreement was signed after thoroughly reading the Mines and Minerals Act, which states that firms have to renew their licences after a period of three years.

Government was even lenient when it gave the mining companies a 90-day ultimatum to either renew their mining licences or clear out their equipment and other valuables.

However, it was unfortunate that the mining company owners, workers and security personnel had to vacate before the particular time frame, leaving the mining fields unattended.

Reports from Chiadzwa had it that thieves and illegal panners at the mines were looting mining equipment at the fields. It is pleasing to note that, other things being equal, government has rectified the situation.

The government has deployed Zimbabwe Republic Police officers to guard the fields. Failing to comply with government policies by these mining firms was a clear indication that they were no longer interested in doing business in the country. For a firm to operate without a renewing licence is as good as breaching the law.

Truth be told, if one does not abide by regulations that guide the operations of either an institution or an organisation it depicts that they are not interested with business being done there.

Government was justified when it said the diamond mine should consolidate and form one mine. However, the firms rejected the idea by government for them to operate under one firm.

There is no doubt that the refusal by these companies to amalgamate was because they wanted to escape from government scrutiny or control. All they wanted was to operate without any government orders.

Previous reports have it that these diamond companies were also failing to account for revenue from their operations. Government has the mandate to know how these companies operate, as well as the proceeds coming from the miners. The idea to allow government to control diamond fields will permit accountability of revenue collected.

Surely, if any company is given the privilege to operate at its own will, cases of underhand dealings will be the order of the day.

The economy needs to recover through its own resources. Diamonds are a valuable mineral which have the potential to resuscitate the economy. The people of Chiadzwa are supposed to benefit from the minerals mined in their area through Community Share Ownership Trusts. Probably, the diamond firms failed to renew their licences because they didn’t want to contribute 10% of their proceeds to the community. There is a lot that these mining companies were supposed to do, for instance, rehabilitation of roads and bridges, constructing schools and drilling boreholes.

Most people in those communities are poor and their children walk long distances to and from school daily.

Government’s decision to cease operations of diamond firms should act as a wake-up call to all mining companies nationwide.

7 Responses to AMHVoices:Govt justified in closing diamond mines

  1. gunguwo March 7, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

    No. Due diligence was never exercise in this whole matter from the beginning. The government only woke up when the horses had already bolted out of the stable. Closing it won’t help much. Our government was second to the ball, just to borrow a bit from the sports reporters. They should have closed these companies within the first year of operation. At least they should have been able to see the tell-tale signs of failure.

  2. solagidrob March 7, 2016 at 1:52 pm #

    I e­a­r­n 55 bu­ck­s pe­r ho­ur f­or w­or­­­ki­­ng on­­lin­­e. I n­ev­­er th­o­ug­ht I’­d be­ ab­­le t­o do i­­t bu­t m­­­y fri­en­d pr­of­­­i­­­ts $­­1­0­­­k /m­­on­­th b­­­y d­­oi­­ng thi­­s jo­­­b a­­nd sh­­­e r­­ec­­­o­­mm­­en­­ded ­­m­­e t­­o c­­hec­­k it out. T­ry i­­t o­­ut on f­­ol­­lo­wi­­ng we­­bsi­­te, y­­­­­ou ha­­ve no­­th­in­­g t­o lo­­se………

    —-> w­w­w.p­a­y­a­b­i­l­i­t­y­7­0.c­o­m

  3. mangundu March 7, 2016 at 2:44 pm #

    please,give us a break.this is not a picture from diamond mines,but ruther for gold ones.Why fooling us like this ,to let your papers sold?

  4. Charles March 7, 2016 at 5:13 pm #

    Surely there are procedures to follow in mergers and acquisitions deals. Buyers and sellers must agree on pricing and processes like due diligence. The takeover must be orderly and timed. U cannot use Njambanja in such corporate deals. The govt should respect the Rule of Law and Property Rights in bringing some transparency and accountability in the Zimbabwe diamond industry.

  5. Harishari March 7, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

    Spot on @gunguwo. It was better to just cordon off the whole area for the next generation…at least they will be better organized to take care of national treasures than this mess…

  6. Mutape 1st March 7, 2016 at 8:59 pm #

    GOMBIRO MUST FALL !! WANT TO RESPECT RULE OF LAW & PROPERTY RIGHTS IN ORDER TO CONTINUE LOOTING THE DIAMONDS IN PERPERTUITY. BETA CLOSE THE MINES 4 EVER IF NOONE IS PREPARED TO ACCOUNT FOR THE BILLIONS 4RM THE DIAMOND MINING. MA-MEGA DEAL ARE USELESS IF THEY ARE JUST A SMOKESREEN 4 LOOTING OUR BOCHA RESOURCES.

  7. Jeff March 8, 2016 at 10:44 am #

    The ZMDC (Government) has a 50% stake in all these mining company’s. What was their role in this? When Tendai Biti raised questions about the disappearance of diamond revenue he was accused of lying. This is just a smokescreen to obscure looting by ZANU PF from the state.

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