Great diamond robbery: USD 2 Billion Missing, Provide evidence, you will end up dead

Posted: November 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

Zimbabwe’s Defence minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has challenged anyone with evidence of the looting of diamonds from Marange diamond fields to provide evidence. He says it is far-fetched for people to claim that his ministry is using diamonds proceeds to fund activities outside normal agreed government spending. But what he is not revealing is that anyone who dares to come forward with evidence is most likely to end up dead in a boot of a car. Lest we forget, remember the suspicious death near Marondera of Brigadier Paul Amstrong Gunda. Mnangagwa knows very well that his side of government is foreign to accountability and transparency. Those who try to provide evidence to alleged corruption and abuses from government end up with scars. The Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti

Mugabe said he deserved the beating

had a bomb thrown at his house after he tried to follow up evidence of abuse in the diamond industry. The Prime Minister himself has had his share of being forced to be silent about things that link ZANU PF to wrongdoing. He still has scars after being savaged by police who acted on the President’s instruction to stop Tsvangirai from addressing a prayer meeting in Harare in 2007. President Mugabe’s response to that was “Tsvangirai deserved the beating”.

Mnangagwa dares us to be beaten and most likely killed by the military which sees the diamonds in Marange as its last supper ahead of polls PM Tsvangirai looks to sneak next year. Examples abound of politicians that attempted to expose the rot in ZANU-PF or government but ended up dead or paupers. For instance, Maurice Nyagumbo died with his evidence after he was said to have been poisoned for trying to expose his fellow cabinet ministers who had played a role in the Willogate Scandal of the late 80s. So for the Defence Minister to ask people to come with evidence is more like asking for one’s death certificate. We all know that the evidence is in the public domain as we see day and night diamonds money fattening people like Mnangagwa and Obert Mpofu who all of a sudden have amassed an unexplained personal fortune. I suggest the Defence Minister should start to answer allegations provided in the recent Pan Africa Report detailing the abuses of diamonds funds by ZANU PF and its friends.

The alleged abuses and their implications to society As stated in a recent report by Pan Africa Canada which was released to coincide with the much publicized Zimbabwe Diamond Conference in Victoria Falls this week, USD 2 Billion worth of diamonds have been looted. It is interesting to note in the report that the diamond plunder in Zimbabwe equals no other since Cecil Rhodes, the colonialist master who exploited South Africa’s Kimberly diamonds about a century ago. The looted diamonds could have easily solved the current embarrassing service delivery which has left Zimbabweans drinking contaminated water which at times takes up to three weeks to be accessed from taps. The money also could have easily stopped sewage from bursting all over cities leaving citizens in smelly neighborhoods which are now described as far below normal human living standards. Our children could receive better education with teachers being paid better salaries to motivate better results to which the economy could benefit from a skilled and innovative labour. The diamonds industry itself could be a major source of employment with capabilities of establishing complete processing facilities that can help our street roaming youths support a better future for themselves. Instead, the diamond industry revenues have been made to benefit a few individuals who are boasting around with fat bellies: the likes of Emerson Mnangagwa and Obert Mpofu, just to mention a few.

Denials and denials

One of the main reasons why reports such as the PAC are important is that they encourage accountability in the diamond sector which in turn could improve stability in areas such as jobs, health, education and others related to service delivery. However, the way I see it, as long as some ZANU PF elements including President Mugabe have a say in politics, we might not see that happening anytime

A ZANU PF Fat Cat – Minister of Mines

soon. President Mugabe and Minister Mpofu always deny any wrong doing as allegations of corruption mount in Marange. They have gone all the way blaming sanctions. Zimbabwe is lobbying hard for international recognition in every forum it gets, hence the recent diamonds forum in Victoria Falls. Speaker after speaker at the forum who included Former South African President Thabo Mbeki, all sang tunes of accountability and denials. Many believe Mbeki’s inclusion in the speaker line-up was a way for Zimbabwe to get a boost in international community as they believe Mbeki has credentials that matter in African politics. It is interesting to note that Mbeki failed to attend a recent lecture to honor him in South Africa citing UN Sudan commitments but those commitments failed to stop him to star in the Zimbabwean line-up of diamond gurus.

Recommendations from PAC

We need to plan for the next Zimbabwe: The Kimberly Process(KP) may well have found a face saving retreat from dealing with on-going compliance issues in Marange, but it’s important the KP create new rules (or clarify existing ones) so as to avoid many of the pitfalls that emerged from the last three years. Tools at our disposal need honing. The most pressing are: to make review visits more effective and independent, including making mutually agreed recommendations binding on participants; ground rules need to be more clearly codified, including creating a set of standardized and graduated penalties for issues of non-compliance; finally, decision- making needs to be sorted out so that a minority cannot hold up administrative change or tougher action when needed.

“When it comes to privacy and accountability, people always demand the former for themselves and the latter for everyone else.” ― David Brin

  1. Rejoice Ngwenya says:

    Really, these looters muts be stopped. If Mugabe’s cronies claim that they are ‘transparent’ – they should publish their sales figures and what they remit to the taxman. If ZMDC is a ‘state company’, they should show us what they make in Marange [sales] and what they remit to Treasury [dividends]. After ‘independence’, these tsotsis will have to be locked up until each and every dime looted in Marange is returned.

  2. Mathula says:

    I agree Mr Ngwenya…some of these guys have to be locked up. They have caused massive sufferings and we cannot help it but campaign for their arrest. I do hope everyone is clear on this one because these guys have gone too far with corruption…

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