‘ZCDC security staff looting diamonds’

ZIMBABWE Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) security officials have been implicated in cases of diamond looting in Chiadzwa after they allegedly formed syndicates with illegal miners.

BY KENNETH NYANGANI

This was revealed at a ZCDC all-stakeholders’ meeting held in Mutare last Friday.

Bocha Community Development Trust director Moses Mukwada said the country was losing millions of dollars through pilferage of diamonds in Marange.
He said there were well-organised syndicates in Chiadzwa, some involving ZCDC officials.

“Illegal miners are being promoted by the security forces, we are seeing illegal miners. They are working with ZCDC security guards and I have the primary evidence on that,” he said.

“For the last two weeks, the situation was worse. The security officials also involve members of the uniformed forces. They form syndicates with well-known diamond buyers and we know some of them and there is need to stop the rot,” he said

“There is deep corruption in Marange. Of course, you are saying that there is development going on in Marange, but I don’t see the development. I need answers please from the officials … diamonds are being stolen daily.”

Centre for Research and Development director James Mupfumi said the issue of security needed to be addressed urgently.

He said ZCDC should provide statistics on how much money the company was spending on corporate social responsibility programmes.

“I think we need to know how much the company is generating from diamond mining. We need to know how much you are channelling … we need statistics on how much is going to government and how much is going to corporate social responsibility,” he said.

“Probably you don’t have much money. We need statistics showing this (much) is going where, the issue of security needs to be addressed, human rights violations need to be addressed as well if we are to move forward.”

ZCDC chief executive officer Morris Mpofu admitted that there was rampant looting of the precious stones in Chiadzwa.

He said they had already planted investigators within the company.

“I want to thank you for raising such issues. We are not in denial about corruption which could be happening internally or externally, but there are measures being taken,” he said.

“We have already planted our own investigators and we are committed to fighting corruption at all costs.”

Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Ellen Gwaradzimba said anyone found involved in diamond looting should be arrested.

“I am saddened with what I hear about corruption. We can’t afford to ignore that, we cannot. I am keen to know who is doing that and the time is up for those who are doing that. We don’t tolerate corruption in this new dispensation,” she said.

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