Home » Industry » Marange Diamonds Are Not Forever, Moyo Admits

INFORMATION Minister Jonathan Moyo has conceded that the country’s much-vaunted Marange diamonds may not save Zimbabwe after all as they have effectively run out.

When the Marange diamonds were “discovered” around 2005-6 then mines minister Obert Mpofu claimed that Zimbabwe would earn US$2 billion annually from the gems.

Mpofu famously boasted that the country would never again need to beg the world for financial help.

But Zimbabwe’s economy has remained deep in the mire since, government coffers are dry and the Zanu PF administration continues to plead with China as well as the West for help.

Opposition politician Tendai Biti said little of what was earned from Marange made its way to the national treasury while he was finance minister in the coalition government.

and in an interface with citizens on Twitter, Thursday, Moyo warned that Zimbabwe needed to find other ways of funding its economic growth.

“Diamond revenues from alluvial diamond mining have dramatically shrunk. We now need to come terms with this reality,” said Moyo in response to a question on where diamond revenue was being channelled.

At the height of the diplomatic fall-out with the West President Robert Mugabe also declared that the country’s problems would be a “thing of the past following the discovery of about a quarter of the world’s diamond deposits”.

However a decade later the excitement has died down amid claims of corruption and looting by top government officials as well as those politically connected to the ruling party.

The military has also reportedly been involved in the looting with revelations in the run-up to the Zanu PF congress in December claiming that ex-vice president Joice Mujuru was involved.

Mujuru herself claimed that India had built a whole city from Marange diamonds while Zimbabwe had nothing to show for the gem discovery.

Meanwhile, Moyo was also challenged during the Twitter exchanges on Zanu PF’s promise to create at least two million new jobs while campaigning for the 2013 elections.

“The promise of employment creation made by Zanu PF in our 2013 election manifesto is real,” said the minister.

“It is premised on the exploitation of our natural resources to attend to such tasks as the rehabilitation of social and physical infrastructure through public private partnerships or joint ventures.

“The mega deals with our Chinese and Russian partners are examples of the kind of projects that, along with our agricultural sector whose performance continues to improve, can create the kind of jobs that our country deserves.

“For this to happen, we need a national consensus on the new economy and the new policies needed to bring about the new economy. We need to work together in-between elections and not make every day an election day.”

Source : New Zimbabwe