Home » General » Mugabe Charmed By Arabs, Offers More Diamonds

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, out on a week-long business trip to the United Arab Emirates, has been charmed by the “sympathies” shown to his beleaguered country by the Arabs and has pledged more diamonds from Zimbabwe.

The veteran leader, probably hurt by his ill treatment at the hands of the Europeans who virtually blocked his trip to the April 2-3 EU-AU summit, flew to the rich Middle East country, where he did not hide his frustrations with the “evil” West.

“Here we have the same Third World people with sympathies for us. Together, we are part of the KPC process. You do not have the evil heart of Europe,” Mugabe was quoted in State media as having told the Arabs during a Wednesday tour of the Dubai Diamond Exchange Centre.

“We want to be partners in trade. We want partners who regard us as human beings, partners who share our misfortunes and appreciate that we want to develop also in the same way that we appreciate their own development”.

Mugabe assured the Arabs diamonds were still abundant in Zimbabwe and pledged his country’s contribution towards boosting the UAE’s world profile as a gigantic world trading hub.

He did not hide his wish to see Zimbabweans start selling their gems in their own homeland but quickly assured his hosts Zimbabwe is not yet thinking of abandoning them.

Said President Mugabe, “Together with you, we want to enhance the Dubai process of selling diamonds. We haven’t gone Kimberlite mining. We are going to start that now. People have been doing alluvial mining, and also conglomerates. Yet we have lots of Kimberlite areas across the country.

“I am sure we are going to be a big diamond mining country. And so with Dubai, a Dubai that is appreciative of us, we can conduct bigger diamond auctions. Yes, we also want to conduct diamond auctions back home, but it’s Dubai for now”.

Zimbabwe started trading its diamonds in Dubai only last month after ditching the Belgium based Antwerp, where it was allegedly shortchanged during its December 2013 and February 2014 sales.

During its diamonds sales in Dubai, Zimbabwe earned $29,3 million through selling 380 626,24 carats.

It has emerged this is a far better offer than the $9,8 million realised in its December sale of 277 803,01 carats, at an average price of $35,41.

The February Antwerp auction saw the country realize $70 million from 959 931 carats, at an average price of $72,96.

By contrast, the average price at the Dubai auction was $76,91, marking a 5,4 percent improvement from the comparatively better second Antwerp sale.

Government got a royalty of $4,39 million from the Dubai auction.

The Zanu PF led government is under pressure to invent tangible solutions to the country’s faltering economy.

Previous appeals for assistance to friendly countries such as China have yielded nothing with the Asian country only keen on investing in smaller projects which have no bearing on Zimbabwe’s gigantic economic needs.

Goaded by the pressure to act soon, at the same time seeing an opportunity to leverage his country’s fortunes, President Mugabe and his entourage flew out to the Arab country Saturday.

In his itinerary, Mugabe was expected to see to the opening of a new Zimbabwean embassy in the Middle East country.

Although the embassy is expected to handle routine Zimbabwean interests in the rich country, it was widely felt the Zimbabwean leader was galvanised into deploying a resident envoy there to superintend over the country’s diamond trading interests.

Source : New Zimbabwe