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Mugabe: Diamond Companies ‘Robbed’ Zimbabwe of its Wealth

Mar 7, 2016 2:51 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe said illicit trade in the nation’s diamonds has cost its economy more than $13 billion as companies have “robbed” the country of its wealth, Bloomberg reported.

This forced the state to create a new company, Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Co., which will take over mining in the African nation, the news agency reported, citing an interview Mugabe gave on state television March 3. Miners active in the country were last month forced to cease operations after the government did not renew their licenses.

The state has earned about $2 billion from diamonds as about $15 billion was generated by the industry, the report cited the President as saying.

“Lots of smuggling and swindling has taken place and the companies that have been mining, I want to say robbed us of our wealth,” Mugabe said, according to the report March 4. “That is why we decided that this area should be a monopoly area and only the state should be able to do the mining in that area.

“You cannot trust a private company in that area,” Mugabe continued. “We should have learnt from the experiences of countries like Botswana, Angola, Namibia. We might go partner with a leading diamond company, one already well-established.”
Tags: Marange, mining, Rapaport News, Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe
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