Old Mutual Pulls out of Zimbabwe Diamond Mine

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Now Daily

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The Zimbabwe government has announced the departure of an Old Mutual plc subsidiary that was involved in mining the country’s controversial Marange diamonds.

President Robert Mugabe said Old Mutual’s South Africa-based subsidiary registered in Mauritius, New Reclamation Group (NRG), a partner in Mbada Diamonds had decided to leave after failing to account for revenues from its mining operations in Marange or sharing profits with the government.

Mugabe has previously said several unnamed companies that were in partnership with the state firm, Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, had stolen diamonds valued at $15 billion from the Marange operations where the Chinese Red Army, a Lebanese firm and NRG were involved.

“These various companies that operated alongside ZMDC operated for quite a long period. We don’t know how the earnings from their operations were accounted for,” Mugabe told the state-run ZBC television. “They just regarded them as their own earnings and nothing seems to have come to ZMDC which was partner and nothing seems to have come to government as revenue.”

Mugabe said the foreign entities were offered the option to partner with the government under the new Zimbabwe Consolidated Mining Company but they declined.

Mbada Diamonds was run by Mugabe’s former helicopter pilot Robert Mhlanga amid claims that he was a front for the president and his wife Grace Mugabe. Mhlanga fell into controversy after he was found to have built a massive seaside villa in Cape Town using proceeds from Zimbabwean diamonds.

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