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Zimbabwe Diamond Policy 'Won't Improve Accountability' in Marange

Civic society activists, economists and political observers say the inclusive government’s adoption of the Zimbabwe Diamond Policy, aimed at ensuring the sustainable development of the industry, is a non-event due to the militarization of the sector.

They said the recent adoption of the policy will not plug loopholes in the mining of Chiadzwa diamonds, which had been earmarked to contribute $600 million to the nation’s strained fiscus this year.

They suggest the government terminates all diamond contracts and open up the sector to private entities instead of leaving operations in the hands of top security officers as is currently the case.

The diamond policy is expected to regulate the lucrative sector through stringent measures aimed at monitoring the value chain.

Zimbabwe has so far received $30 million this year from diamond proceeds, instead of the expected $230 million.

Buletsi Nyathi of the Youth in Mining Council of Zimbabwe says it is impossible to regulate the diamond sector as diamond mining companies in the country are believed to be dominated by security forces.

Meanwhile, diamond monitoring group Rapaport reports that Zimbabwe will next month host a diamond summit aimed at promoting and providing an insight into the nation’s gem industry in a bid to increase investment opportunities in the sector.