'Govt should disclose diamond revenues'

Kimberly Process (KP) Civil Society Coalition has raised concern over non-disclosure of diamond contracts and revenues by government saying it punctures proper accountability.

The KP Civil Society Coalition is an international organisation under the Kimberly Process which is committed to promote a conflict-free diamond global supply chain. The coalition’s global coordinator, Shamiso Mutisi, who is an international expert in the area of diamonds, said government needs to publicly disclose revenues in the mining sector.

“So far we have counted more than 20 mega-deals related to the mining sector, and these were signed with ZMDC, ZCDC for example, the Government of Zimbabwe with the Chinese investors with the Russians, with, United Arab Emirates and with Belarus.
“But the question is, do these deals include responsible investments related to ensuring that the country gets benefits, adequate royalties, dividends and other payments that can trigger economic growth and then the non-disclosure of those contracts is a major issue,” he said.

Mutisi, who is privy to Zimbabwe’s diamond revenues through the Kimberly Process said this will also enable development as well as remove leakages in the system. “…Some of you might be aware of the Tuna Bond in Mozambique that led to the arrest of government officials.

“We looked at the contract and gave advice to Parliament in Mozambique because we are dealing with an issue of government guarantees, meant to prop up the regime in Mozambique and trigger investment by the military in Mozambique.

“So it is important for government, industry and civil society to come together and possibly form a multi-stakeholder forum for partly disclosure of mining revenues,” he added. The Mozambique scandal involved 18 indicted individuals together with government officials who were accused of concealing contracts scamming up to $2 billion, 12,5 percent of Mozambique’s GDP.

Zimbabwe has in the past lost a jaw-dropping $15 billion to alleged nefarious activities by some of diamond mining firms.
At the same time reports have shown gross corruption by conniving top officials who have also been benefiting behind closed doors.
Before he became president, Emmerson Mnangagwa had said the government had ordered a forensic audit of the seven companies that were mining in Chiadzwa as part of the investigations regarding the missing $15 billion.

In the 2019 budget statement Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube refers to the Extractive Transparency Initiative (ETI) which is a multi-stakeholder forum for disclosure of mining revenues and mining contracts. “We thought that was progressive but so far we have not seen any action on the ETI,” said Mutisi.