Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
Government’S responsibility is to craft policies that safeguard the national interest, and there’s therefore nothing to regret about the decision to consolidate the diamond mining industry, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
He made the remarks yesterday while fielding questions from legislators during a Questions without Notice Session in the National Assembly. VP Mnangagwa was responding to a question from MDC-T MP for Binga North, Mr Prince Sibanda, who sought to know if the recent decision by Government to consolidate the diamond industry would not affect its relations with the international community particularly its creditors.
Mr Sibanda claimed there were policy inconsistencies in Government resulting in the international community losing faith in Zimbabwe. “When a Government makes policies, it creates a policy in the national interest, not to please other people,” said VP Mnangagwa.
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“I am not aware of inconsistencies of policy. I am aware of policy of Government being consistent with the national interest of the country. In relation to consolidation of the diamond industry, this is the best practice the world over. Those who get aggrieved, let them come and discuss with us and we can show them light as to why we are taking this position.
“It is not an issue that would deter honest investors unless they were investors who were bent on coming to steal when the door of theft has been closed.”
Mines and Mining Development Minister, Walter Chidhakwa, also told MPs that Government was in the process of establishing how much the country lost through illicit dealings by firms and officials who were operating in Chiadzwa.
He said there were different figures being raised by different people on the exact amount the country lost.
Minister Chidhakwa was responding to MDC-T MP for Kuwadzana East, Mr Nelson Chamisa, who sought to know what had happened to the diamond money that was lost through illicit dealings which President Mugabe said could be around $15 billion.
“We have now triggered a process of establishing why, how it happened, how much it is in specific terms. I want to say that once that forensic report has been completed, we will bring it to Parliament to report on the matter,” said Minister Chidhakwa.
VP Mnangagwa said Government was committed to the debt clearance strategy that was struck at the Lima Conference late last year for its external debt.
He said officials from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank were in the country last week to follow up on the strategy, which he said was on course.
VP Mnangagwa said the central bank was engaging local financial institutions to facilitate clearance of the internal debt.
He also said a number of Government projects were under implementation in various sectors of the economy.
VP Mnangagwa said Government would not interfere with internal processes of other countries such as the United States of America despite the fact that the US did so in other countries including Zimbabwe.
He was responding to a question from Zanu-PF MP for Buhera South MP, Mr Joseph Chinotimba, who sought to know if Government would summon the American ambassador Harry Thomas Jnr over violence at campaign rallies addressed by presidential aspirant, Mr Donald Trump (Republican).
Cde Chinotimba said it was important for Zimbabwe to condemn the USA in the same manner they condemned Zimbabwe whenever there were disturbances.
VP Mnangagwa said the statement by Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Christopher Mushohwe on America would suffice.