Miners robbed us, says President

President Mugabe

President Mugabe

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
President Mugabe said Government has not received meaningful returns from the Chiadzwa diamond fields and that private companies mining there have robbed the State. He said the consolidation of mining activities in Chiadzwa had not in any way affected relations between Zimbabwe and China.

This comes in the wake of reports by the private media that the move could affect relations between Harare and Beijing given that one of the affected companies (Anjin) was of the Chinese origin.

In his 92nd birthday interview with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation aired last night, President Mugabe said he told his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping during his State visit here last year that Government was not happy with Anjin’s operations.

“I don’t think it has affected any of our relations at all. I told President Xi Jinping that we were not getting much from the company and we didn’t like it anymore in this country,” said President Mugabe.

“So we wanted it to go back. I told him that here in this house.”

He said less than $2 billion was remitted from diamond proceeds and those seconded by Government to work with the private companies did not help matters as they also failed to account for the gems.

“We have not received much from the diamond industry at all,” he said.

“Not much by way of earnings. I don’t think we have exceeded $2 billion or so and yet we think that well over 15 or more billion dollars have been earned in that area.

“So where have our gold or carats have been going — the gems and there has been quite a lot of secrecy in handling them and we have been blinded ourselves.

“That is our people who we expected to be our eyes and ears have not been able to see or hear what was going on and lots of swindling, smuggling have taken place and companies that have been mining virtually I want to say robbed us of our wealth and that is why we have decided that this area should be a monopoly area and only the State should be able to do the mining in that area.

“You cannot trust a private company in that area, none at all and we should have learnt from the experiences of countries like Botswana, Angola, Namibia etc. We might go partner with a leading diamond company one which is already well established fine, we may be able to do that but then on good terms.

“Botswana was telling us the idea, that is President (Ian) Khama that the De Beers they have had to demand a bit more than 70 percent of the earnings that are made by De Beers itself because they reckon that over years De Beers have been having a lion’s share of their diamond wealth and this is what we are trying to do now — start afresh.

“After all, the real kimberlite mining has not been done it was all alluvial so far.

“Just doing the sands, the loose earth and the conglomerate of course, cutting stones through and getting whatever carats. That is what this Chinese company Anjin was doing.”

President Mugabe said the economy was not performing to expectations due to various difficulties.

Among the challenges, the President said, was Zimbabwe using the US dollar which it does not have control over.

“Anyway the American dollar is not the currency of Europe, but when we pay Europe what we have here is the American dollar so the same story happens,” he said.

“So we do not print the American dollar and we do not control its flow, international flow the regulation of that flow is by America and so your progress is inhibited. You have to find ways of circumventing these impediments that face us in trading with other countries and that have just slowed us tremendously.”

Internally, the President said economic growth was also being slowed by corruption.

He said the country had set the Anti Corruption Commission to deal with the vice.

“Then of course we have got some inbuilt forms of resistance,” said President Mugabe.

“You have in the same system some people who don’t think the way you do and have different ideas and do not therefore take the same stance as yourself so they are slow or they think the policies we are taking are not the correct ones so they are not happy and you have also quite some level of corruption in the system private and public and we are looking at how we can get rid of this kind of corruption.”

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  • Judas Iscariot

    You scoffed at Tendai Biti, when he tried to warn you. You didn’t want to believe him, because he was an opposition member.

  • Gotore

    Useless government, all these years and you are only realizing this now? Where were the structures of accountability and why are you not holding the portfolio Ministers to account? We all know that looting was allowed to take place because there were corrupt government officials benefiting, musatinyaudza muchitiudza zvinhu zviripachena. Deal with the corruption, period!

    • Wezhira Wezhara

      I agree. We have a multi billion dollar mining business in Zvishavane and Mashava which were looted dry by some person who claimed to be an administrator and they walked out of the scheme fairly rewarded yet the company collapsed in spectacular fashion. SMM was once a vibrant mining venture which had vertically intergrated well with entities that produced roofing sheets, pipes etc. Over 6000 jobs could thus have been affected and this saga is too big and too significant to be ignored. There is urgent need to revisit this saga and more importantly to right the wrongs that were done. That is the only way we can get our country going.

  • Theo

    I wonder how many Government big wigs and senior people in the Army have taken some of the 15 Billion Dollars which are missing????
    He is right in one thing though that the people have not benefited in this looting

  • bodo_kwete

    No mention of evil west as the main culprit??

  • nxa

    ‘So we do not print the American dollar and we do not have control of its flow’ KaMudhara aka needs real education not book sichupiti.

  • Goredema

    well my first comment appears not to have been able to be cleared…..

    It’s painful that the govt only now realises that there was theft going on at Marange. The MDC made several calls that we’re losing out in Marange, but perhaps it was expedient for govt to let things happen the way they were happening.

    If the govt needed to partner all those companies to mine alluvial diamonds, does it have what it takes to mine kimberlites (which are deep-seated) without the collaboration – and there is no hint of irony!

  • Chikomana

    Private companies in Chiadzwa are real enemies of the people way beyond Ian Daglous Smith. Cde Chidhakwa well done for the efforts made so far However you must take a cautious approach because we are already under sanctions and so far a widow for the invisible hand of Brutonwoods to pinch us has been opened.
    In the same vain may you investigate the mashava mine issue since its closure is not helping the nation and its a good case study on international community response to internal mining conflicts.

    Gushungo long live my hero

  • Ngwekazi

    We all make mistakes. What the government has done will benefit the people of Manicaland and Zimbabwe as a whole and the future generation. During GNU, Hon. Biti said it to the nation that Diamond money was not coming to the Treasury. Where was it going? The President has accepted failure and we want to know and see those perpetrators arrested. I guess they will be some arrests coz the President never minced his words that the MINERS ROBBED US OF OUR WEALTH. Same with the farms. We need the President cut down the size of farms so that everyone benefits. We have these Ministers with 500 to more than 1000 hectares. What for? The President said we are on sanctions because of land reform. So if its the case, can it be shared equally to every citizen of Zimbabwe. Look at what happened to Gideon Gono’s tenure, he ditched out farming equipment to the Ministers and other senior government officials. Even if you look at Mining firms at Chiadzwa, senior government officials have links. I saw on online papers comments one saying one of Mnangagwa sons is married to a Chinese girl. This Chinese girl has or is a daughter of one of Anjin chefs. Maona manje. That is why the President said even those chosen to be the eyes of the government were not trustworth. And now we want to know the agreements made when Longchen and Zimbabwe Defence College were built. Maybe ma Chinese akati tinokuwakirayi Longchen Market and Defence College Zimbabwe yotiregera tichere ma DIAMONDS.

  • Madzibaba Chokurongerwa

    Nathaniel,George,Manheru is the president’s spokesman,Sarah Mahoka is first lady’s spokeswoman.

  • Rawboy

    A country which has been mining precious gold succesfully for well over a century is now being schooled by the likes of Botswana and Namibia how to operate a diamond mine?…Eish!

  • haiwawo

    When you stumble around with eyes wide shut and when you are driven by the delusion that you are still in control, of course you will be robbed. And we will continue to be robbed.

  • gonzo

    Where were you all along when all of this theft was happening under your radar? You took a blind eye and chose to ignore yet billions of dollars were being stolen and smuggled under your watch. *

    • widzo

      Busy looking for enemies and who is wishing to harm me, running away from shadows

  • lot chitakasha

    I agree with the decision to stop the looting …2 billion from 15 billion,zvinorwadza, the President himself once said Chinese imperialism is more dangerous because it is more subtle and comes in the guise of friendship,we should be wary of these partners,they have already taken too much for the owner not to notice,when a handshake goes beyond the elbow ,it has become something else,I would rather trade with the west because they still feel guilty about their colonial past and they tend to compensate by maintaining some decency in their relation,trade is not fair but it is better..I hope the Chiadzwa saga will make the govt more alert.

  • josh

    GUSHUGO Makagona vanhu ava vanga vati pedza pamberi nemi

    • Tafirenyika

      You sound foolish like a certain prof muzvinavhu

  • Pamusoroi

    where were you with yo indiginisation policies while they were looting

  • my zanupf

    its true miners robbed us they did nob Zimbabwe but the first family

  • Wezhira Wezhara

    Just like they did in Zvishavane where they left a whole lucrative mine to crumble. They said they were taking it from Mutumwa Mawere for the purpose of “reconstruction”. But would you say the administrator Afaras Gwarazimba reconstructed it? It is now in ruins and suddenly a multi billion company that took years to build and employed more than Hwange Colliery is no more. This is totally unacceptable!

  • loonex

    Takes a robber to spot a robber. This is really laughable

  • SimonPetere

    Pasipano pane vanhu vane misoro yakaoma kuti papata.And the stealing it still going on …..pasi me Zanu PF

  • Grace Jones

    Dont be fooled. This man took all the govt proceeds and now chases the mining company so nobody will ever be able to follow up on missing money

  • Grace Jones

    Dont be fooled this old man got the diamonds from thr chines. Ndiyombavha huru kafhara ikaka

  • Gushungo WekuGP

    Ziiiiiiii,,,,,Ziiiiii….Someone was sleeping on the job

  • Bert

    And govt. will do a better job???

  • Muler T

    Who writes these stories pleeeease,

    1. “a beat more than 70 percent” – its a BIT more than
    2. “these impediments that faces us” – impediments that FACE us (Grade 4 English)
    3. “how we can can get rid of these kind of corruption” – these suggests a plurality

    I mean this is the website of a national paper a simple grammar checking tool can be used before you post stuff like this. ko basa raeditor wenyu ndereiko?

    Mugabe tiitirewo serious nhaika (Tendai the writer)

    • theheraldonline

      Muler T, this slipped us indeed.
      Thank you very much.
      We have since corrected the errors.

      • Muler T

        awesome, you are welcome