The head of a recently formed breakaway faction of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change on Tuesday criticized Kimberly Certification Process monitor for Zimbabwe Abbey Chikane, accusing him of advancing the interests of South Africa's ruling African National Congress in connection with diamonds from the Marange field.
Job Sikhala, who launched his MDC-99 formation earlier this year, also called for a halt to trade in asbestos from the Shabanie Mashaba Mines under state administration, VOA Studio 7 correspondent Thomas Chiripasi reported.
Elsewhere, Finance Minister Tendai Biti instructed the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority to investigate the disappearance of diamonds worth approximately US$30 million that were extracted from the Marange alluvial field. The move came amid allegations that the missing diamonds were sold without Kimberly Process certification.
Kimberly monitor Chikane said in a report issued last month, which recommended certification of Marange diamonds, that the country had exported diamonds for some US$30 million but that the funds were not accounted for.
Political analysts said that although Biti’s move to probe the sales is commendable, his investigations will be derailed by related parties aligned to ZANU-PF and state security agents with access to Marange fields.
Parliamentary Mines Committee member Moses Mare told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that an investigation into Marange diamond sales is long overdue. “The majority of people that have access to the Marange fields are believed to be looting diamonds since there is no proper supervision on mining activities,” Mare said.