Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe has expelled the Chinese Red Army firm Anjin saying Government has not received meaningful returns from its Marange (Chiadzwa) diamond fields operations and that it was one of the private companies mining there that have “robbed the State”.
In an interview with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation Thursday, Mugabe said he told Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2015 that government was not happy with Anjin’s operations.
“I told President Xi Jinping that we were not getting much from the company and we didn’t like it anymore in this country. So we wanted it to go back. I told him that,” Mugabe said.
Mugabe accused Anjin and other companies working in Marange of looting diamonds worth more than $15 billion, leaving the state to earn a paltry $2 billion from diamond proceeds. Mugabe said local workers were part of the rackets to fleece the state as they also failed to account for the gems.
Mugabe’s declaration puts into jeopardy Anjin’s High Court application to have its licence renewed.
Mugabe said, “We have not received much from the diamond industry at all. Not much by way of earnings. I don’t think we have exceeded $2 billion or so and yet we think that well over 15 or more billion dollars have been earned in that area. So where have our gold or carats have been going — the gems and there has been quite a lot of secrecy in handling them and we have been blinded ourselves. That is our people who we expected to be our eyes and ears have not been able to see or hear what was going on and lots of swindling, smuggling have taken place and companies that have been mining virtually I want to say robbed us of our wealth and that is why we have 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, none at all and we should have learnt from the experiences of countries like Botswana, Angola, Namibia etc. We might go partner with a leading diamond company, one which is already well established fine, we may be able to do that but then on good terms. Botswana was telling us the idea, that is President (Ian) Khama that the De Beers they have had to demand a beat more than 70 percent of the earnings that are made by De Beers itself because they reckon that over years De Beers have been having a lion’s share of their diamond wealth and this is what we are trying to do now — start afresh. After all, the real kimberlite mining has not been done it was all alluvial so far. Just doing the sands, the loose earth and the conglomerate of course, cutting stones through and getting whatever carats. That is what this Chinese company Anjin was doing.”
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