Zimbabwe's deputy mine minister told parliament last week that an army firm maintains a 40 percent stake in one of the most lucrative diamond mines in the country, Anjin mining farm, a joint venture with the Chinese.
It was admitted in the Zimbabwean parliament last week by Deputy Mines Minister Gift Chimanikire that the Zimbabwe Defence Industries (ZDI), an army firm, owns 40 percent of the Anjin diamond mining farm, according to a report from AllAfrica.com. Not only does this show a financial involvement, but also the military’s direct association in the Chiadzwa diamond fields.
Another 10 percent of the mine is owned by the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC). The remaining 50 percent is owned by the Chinese Defence Industries. The minister called the army stake as “nothing sinister.”
The ZDI is listed as a private company, but all company shares are owned by the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU PF).
Chimanikire’s statement comes as new reports have surfaced of army personnel as well as police and private security of committing violent acts against workers in the Chiadzwa fields. Witnesses allege that severe beatings, shooting and the ordering of attack dogs have taken place.
One incident alleges a victim being shot in the face and four of the individual’s friends being murdered by soldiers.
President Robert Mugabe and members of his government have invited Western ambassadors to visit several of the nation’s diamond fields, according to Voice of America. Mugabe and his allies are urging the international community to remove economic and travel sanctions.
“The EU ambassadors and Western country ambassadors are going to Marange [diamond fields] next week,” said Obert Mpofu, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Mines. “We said come. In fact, they asked for that permission a long time ago. We are open to scrutiny.”
European Union Ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell’Arricia said officials will visit the Marange diamond fields this month.
In the same week, the Zimbabwe government announced that it has adopted the Zimbabwe Diamond Policy. This measure is an attempt for sustainable development of the diamond industry and economic growth in the African country.
“It is true that the Zimbabwe Diamond Policy has been approved. It means the policy will now regulate the diamond mining sector throughout the value chain, security, exploration, mining, and marketing,” said Prince Mupazviriho, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, in an interview with the Zimbabwe Herald.
The government made the decision after it was concluded that the Precious Stones Trade Act made it difficult to regulate the diamond industry amid the latest dynamics and growing developments in the industry.