Thursday, March 15, 2012

Zimbabwe Diamond Earnings to Double If Sanctions Are Lifted

Diamond earnings to double if sanctions go: ZMDC boss

Thursday, 15 March 2012 00:00
Herald Reporter

ZIMBABWE Mining Development Corporation chairman Mr Godwills Masimirembwa yesterday said Zimbabwe’s earnings from diamond sales will double if the European Union and the United Statesremove sanctions on the country.

In an interview with CNN in Harare yesterday, Mr Masimirembwa said sanctions were impacting negatively on the economy and should be removed.

“The impact of sanctions is so devastating.

They impact negatively on the pricing of our diamonds. We want the British and American businesspeople out there to come and bid for our diamonds but they are afraid of being victimised back home.

“America and the EU are not only imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe, but on its own people as well. They want to come and bid for the diamonds but because the big brother America is wielding a sjambok, they will not come.

“Even partners in our joint venture companies are afraid of being blacklisted by America and the EU. We want sanctions to go yesterday,” he said.

Mr Masimirembwa dismissed as false, claims that revenue from Marange diamonds were being channelled to the security forces.

“There is no off-budget that is channelled to security apparatus or Zanu-PF. All revenue is accounted for to the Government.

“Right from the extraction stage to the sale of diamonds, the Ministry of Finance, the police and the companies involved would be represented and there is no way the money can be diverted,” he said.

The diamond expert said there was nothing wrong with retired army personnel sitting on mining boards, saying they were part of the society.

“There is nothing wrong with the retired army personnel sitting on some of the boards.

“They are Zimbabweans and they are entitled to be on the boards provided they have the qualifications.

“Even the American Ambassador to Zimbabwe and several others are former generals, but we have never questioned that,” said Mr Masimirembwa.

Mr Masimirembwa described the Marange diamond mining as a “game changer” to the economy.

“I can safely say the Marange diamonds is a game changer if there is some fairness world over. Even with sanctions on us we can raise up to US$100 million a month. Before we started the project, we could struggle to raise a million dollars per month,” he said.

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