Kurotwi offers govt diamond cutting facility

HARARE - Zimbabwe Diamond Technology Centre (ZDTC) has offered government facilities to manage precious minerals as part of efforts to support beneficiation initiatives and create jobs.

“In light of the foregoing, ZDTC is offering the Zimbabwe government through your (Mines) ministry, facilities to manage the nation’s precious minerals,” said the diamond centre’s founder Lovemore Kurotwi.

The facilities on offer include a one-stop shop, an auction floor, regulatory authorities’ facility such as Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ), Zimra and others.

He said that various stakeholders like banks, courier services and insurance companies will also be housed at the centre.

“This offer has been necessitated by the government’s call on Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Economic Transformation (ZimAsset) blueprint, where the government is making an effort to rebuild the economy through a home-grown solution,” Kurotwi said.

ZDTC is an indigenous-owned organisation founded by Kurotwi and is situated in Mt. Hampden where 500 factories, laboratory and a diamond bourse are being constructed.

The factories will warehouse companies interested in the cutting and polishing business.

Also incorporated in the ZDTC is the Zimbabwe Diamond Education College which primarily transfers knowledge and skills in cutting and polishing rough diamonds, evaluation and grading them.

It has trained over 300 students who specialise in diamond cutting and polishing.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwean court officials yesterday granted permission to conduct an inspection-in-loco in South Africa in a fraud case involving Kurotwi.

Kurotwi is facing $2 billion fraud charges. He is jointly charged with ex-Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) manager Dominic Mubaiwa.

High Court Judge Chinembiri Bhunu yesterday said parties will travel to South Africa on May 11 for the inspection-in-loco, which is to be held for two days.

He said parties will meet on May 9 to deliberate on the final logistics of the trip.

Kurotwi’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said they had reserved their rights in the process, claiming that her understanding of the communication from South Africa was that that country’s judicial officers were going to handle the proceedings.

Earlier on, Mtetwa had queried the arrangement, which she said was tantamount to subcontracting the case to South Africans.

“They have been organising the inspection-in-loco since 2012 and have subcontracted the process to a Kimberley magistrate and they also want us to subcontract the proceedings to South African lawyers,” Mtetwa said.

“We note from your letter that the inspection-in-loco in South Africa will be led by the chief magistrate in Kimberley with the deputy director of public prosecution in Kimberley presumably acting on your behalf.”

She said that she did not believe that a chief magistrate who is unaware of the background of the matter was able to properly conduct the inspection in loco.

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