Parliament’s mines committee says it is disappointed that the recently formed Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining company is not properly constituted and not yet fully operational when the nation is expecting reasonable revenues from diamond sales amid a crippling cash crisis.
Acting chief executive officer, Ridge Nyashanu and interim company chairman and Mines Ministry permanent secretary, Francis Gudyanga, were grilled for an hour by the committee members who expressed concern that the company was not properly formed and that most of its activities were therefore illegal.
First to appear before the committee was Nyashanu, who made a very short presentation of the company’s operations, but failed to answer critical questions pertaining to the shareholding of the company, its directors and other important issues.
In his brief presentation, Nyashanu said the consolidated company had only sold just more 500,000 carats in its few months since it started operating and remitted just one million dollars to Treasury.
But committee chairman, Daniel Shumba was no happy about this. He ordered Nyashanu to go back and get prepared.
The committee is expected to recall Nyashanu to give more evidence.
The committee is expected to recall Nyashanu to give more evidence. After Nyashanu’s presentation, then came Gudyanga, who was equally disappointing to the committee.
Gudyanga failed to provide information on the operations of the company and a lot of other issues, which the committee felt are important in improving the country’s diamond industry.
He admitted that the state-controlled company had not been established through an act of parliament and that its operations had been affected by the fact that some of the private investors who were supposed to form part of the company such as Mbada and Anjin had approached the courts to challenge its existence.
But Shumba and his committee accused Gudyanga of engaging in illegal activities and presiding over the demise of the diamond industry at a time when the country expected a lot of revenue from the sale of gems.
Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti and current Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa have bemoaned lack of meaningful revenue contributions from the country’s’ gems.
The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining has taken over the operations of all diamond mining companies in the country but some of them are contesting the decision in court.