Opacity haunts diamond mining’s Treasury remittances

CONTROVERSY continues to hog the diamond mining sector with conflicting reports from the Finance and Mines and Mining Development ministries over remittance of diamond mining revenue, as was the norm in the inclusive government era.

Hazel Ndebele

Chinamasa told parliamentarians in Victoria Falls at a 2013 Budget Review Seminar a fortnight ago that out of a targeted US$40 million expected from diamond sales, nothing had been received as at September 2013.

But Mines and Mining Development minister Walter Chidhakwa told Zimbabwe Independent on Wednesday his ministry has been remitting funds to treasury.

Such conflicting statements were the order of the day between 2009 and the July 31 elections this year when Obert Mpofu was Mines minister while MDC-T secretary general Tendai Biti held the Finance portfolio. Then, there were allegations funds were being diverted to fund Zanu PF’s campaigns and sabotage Biti, who bemoaned diamond mines were under-remitting funds to Treasury. Chidhakwa insisted diamond revenue was finding its way to Treasury and he was constantly communicating with Chinamasa, whom he said has never raised the issue with him.

“I am in discussion with the Minister of Finance very regularly and he has never mentioned that issue to me; in fact he knows what is coming from the mining sector not just from diamonds but right across the sector, including gold,” he said. He declined to reveal how much had been remitted since September.

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