Kurotwi wants diamonds for training purposes

HARARE - Zimbabwe Diamond Education College (ZDEC) chairperson Lovemore Kurotwi has approached the Mines ministry seeking to be given 15 000 carats of diamonds monthly to help the institution in training its students.

In a July 14, letter addressed to the ministry, Kurotwi said government should stop sending people to China to train in diamond cutting and polishing as that can be done locally. “We are applying for a monthly allocation of 15 000 carats of diamonds for training purposes.

“… on a relevant note, we have noted with great concern that our ministry of Mines has made a decision to allocate 10 000 carats of diamonds monthly for three years in return for training mere 25 students who have been sent for training all the way to China yet ZDEC an indigenous diamond training institute which your ministry licensed has been struggling since its inception to constantly acquire rough diamonds for training purposes”.

Kurotwi said something is amiss when government splashes money sending people to China but cannot spare just a few minutes to visit local diamond cutting and polishing companies.

“We expect our ministry of Mines to visit the cutting and polishing companies which it has licensed to enable the ministry to assess the potential which Zimbabwe has to date so that when the ministry travels outside Zimbabwe as it has recently done to China, it will be guided on what to ask for as it risks asking for the same service or technology that the local companies already have.

“We complain as a country of serious liquidity crunch yet our own government fails to promote their own local companies. He added that the ministry of Mines is frustrating the growth of the local diamond industry.

“Diamonds have been sold for the past 10 years to India, Dubai and other countries but to date we do not have anything to showcase as a major producer because we have continued to repeat the same mistake of deliberately refusing to work with our own local industry.

“If the ministry could support all the licensed companies in the same manner that the ministry has done to this Chinese firm, the turnaround of this country would be faster than expected.”

Comments (2)

Are we serious about local procurement and building local capacity? Why are we not prepared to support our own facilities? We will continue to be manipulated by foreigners and we are sentencing the future generations to the same fate. I understand that when the diamond cutting and polishing companies were licensed there was some agreement (written or unwritten) that they would get 10% of total diamond produced (or some such percentage) at reduced prices so they could process locally thereby building local capacity for the FUTURE. What happened to all this? Why are we failing to see the opportunities in local beneficiation of diamonds extending to even manufacture of diamond jewellery (necklaces, rings, watches, etc) at large scales since we got the resources?

shanga - 21 July 2016

Where there is no vision people perish!

Dhewa - 22 July 2016

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