Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Zimbabwe Army Bartering Diamonds For Arms

Zimbabwe's Deputy Mines Minister has leveled serious accusations at the nation's armed forces, accusing it of colluding to trade the country's rough diamonds for weapons, Rough and Polished reports. Gift Chimanikire of the Movement for Democratic Change Party said that the nation was not earning as much as it should for its rough diamonds, because instead of being sold on the open market, they are being bartered for arms.

The diamond company doing the most mining activity in the Marange region, Anjin, is owned by China and the Zimbabwean Army in a 90%-10% split, and it is difficult to account for the dollar value of the army's share of the gems, since they are traded for weapons, according to Chimanikire. The Deputy Mines Minister said that as of 2 years ago, Anjin had amassed 5.8 million carats of rough diamonds that were not brought to tender in Harare.
Chimanikire recommended a change in the way diamonds were sorted in the country in order to quash corruption, according to Rough and Polished. The Deputy Minister criticized Zimbabwe's practice of sorting diamonds at the country's International Airport and advocated for the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority to audit transactions where the diamonds are produced to begin with.

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