Felex Share Senior Reporter
Cabinet yesterday approved the Zimbabwe National Diamond Policy which is expected to regulate the diamond mining sector and ensure accountability in the mining, processing and selling of the precious mineral.
The policy will see only the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), Murowa Diamonds and two other companies to be approved by Government undertaking diamond exploration and mining in the country.
Briefing journalists after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Acting Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu said the policy covers all stages of the diamond value chain, namely exploration, mining, processing, valuation, marketing, beneficiation, value addition as well as issues of security and law enforcement.
Outlining the key features of the policy, Minister Ndlovu said: “Any other entity or person with diamond mining title shall approach any one of the four approved companies for joint venture arrangements.
“Government through ZCDC shall be the 46 percent and the local Community Trust — the 5 percent indigenous partners of any foreign investor who intends to undertake diamond mining activities in Zimbabwe. Government may waive that local ownership threshold subject to satisfactory submissions and due diligence. All rough diamonds produced from all diamond mining operations shall be submitted to the Diamond Value Management Centre to be established by the ZCDC for cleaning, sorting and valuation save for Murowa Diamonds.”
Minister Ndlovu said private players will participate in value addition after cleaning and sorting and after obtaining the necessary approvals.
He said 10 percent of diamonds will be reserved for local value addition.
Government, in consultation with stakeholders, came up with the diamond policy after observing loopholes that made it inadequate to effectively regulate the diamond industry in the face of emerging developments and new dynamics in the industry.
Minister Ndlovu said Cabinet received a progress report on the upgrading of the Harare-Beitbridge Road.
“Notable progress so far registered on the project is as follows: Segmentation of the Harare-Beitbridge Highway Road into nine sections, namely Skyline-Beatrice; Beatrice- Chivhu; Chivhu Town: Chivhu- Fairfield; Fairfield-Masvingo; Masvingo Town; Masvingo-Ngundu; Ngundu-Bubi; and Bubi-Beitbridge,” he said.
“Commencement of works on selected portions of the highway, namely: Skyline-Beatrice and Beatrice-Chivhu: and construction of the detour along the Skyline-Beatrice Section as well as the Beatrice- Chivhu section is already underway.”
Minister Ndlovu said Cabinet was briefed on the new city designs and urban regeneration projects by Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo.
These designs and projects cover the new Parliament Building and the New City in the Mt Hampden and urban renewal project for Mbare (Harare), Sakubva (Mutare) and Makokoba (Bulawayo).
“The new city project will be developed in partnership between Government and private sector players, based on the concept of the modern and self-contained smart city. The launch of the projects will be undertaken soon.”
Minister Ndlovu said with the festive season coming, Cabinet had agreed that a raft of preventive measures be taken at the policy, regulatory, infrastructural and social security levels to curb road accidents.
“The various measures to be introduced in this regard will be publicised to the nation after the ongoing consultations on the roadmap for their implementation have been concluded,” he said.
Cabinet also approved several projects to be implemented under the 100-day priority projects under the ministries of Information, Communication Technology and Courier Services and Industry and Commerce.