‘We won’t be begging any more’
the green light by the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme to unconditionally sell its diamonds from Marange.
“Zimbabwe will not be begging anymore,” the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Cde Obert Mpofu said yesterday.
“We are now going to unleash our worthiness to the world.”
Minister Mpofu was addressing a Press conference soon after returning from the Democratic Republic of Congo where he attended a KPCS plenary that allowed Harare to sell its gems without any hindrances.
He said the country would become an economic giant on the global scene, as the diamond sales would significantly improve the economy.
“The Ministry of Mines has the pleasure to announce that it is ready to lead and champion the economic recovery of this country through a robust, dynamic and aggressive policy to grow the mining sector in Zimbabwe whose growth is currently bullish and set to contribute in excess of 50 percent of our Gross Domestic Product,” said Minister Mpofu.
He said the United States and other Western countries who opposed Zimbabwe’s quest for unconditional sale of its diamonds had changed their stance.
“You cannot play against a giant, without Zimbabwe you can’t have KP,” he said. “Our current production is estimated by volume to be in excess of 25 percent of the world production.”
Minister Mpofu said a KP monitor would soon visit Zimbabwe to supervise other new entrants in Marange after the firms indicated that they were ready for sale.
Turning to a motion in Parliament by Bulawayo South MP, Mr Eddie Cross (MDC-T) that Marange diamonds should be nationalised, Minister Mpofu said the legislator wanted to influence deliberations in the DRC.
“He wanted to please his handlers, but it failed because you cannot be diverted by people seeking cheap politics through political posturing,” he said.
Minister Mpofu said it was strange that Mr Cross was only focusing on Marange and not firms such as Murowa and Zimplats.
He said the mining industry had in the past contributed a paltry US$2,6 million in royalties to the Government, yet Marange diamonds had contributed almost US$300 million to date despite bottlenecks that were there in selling the gems.
Zimbabwe is set to earn in excess of US$2 billion per year in gross revenues from selling diamonds.
Yesterday’s Press conference was attended by Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Savior Kasukuwere and Attorney General Johannes Tomana.