Zimbabwe's Mines Minister rejected calls from his fellow cabinet ministers for greater transparency in the management of the country's mining resources, AllAfrica.com reported. Obert Mpofu, a member of the ruling ZANU-PF party, said that government officials who had not contributed to the country's diamond industry had no right to demand accountability from the sector.
Zimbabwe's Finance Minister, Tendai Biti, has previously claimed that revenues from the country's diamond industry are only trickling into government coffers and that most of the profits are being siphoned off. Recently, the government was unable to pay civil service workers' salaries and later revised its annual budget to reflect the unexpected tax shortfall from the diamond sector.
Millions of carats of diamonds have been mined from Zimbabwe's Marange region of the country in the last three years, but only a small group of political and military officials are aware of the exact number, according to AllAfrica.com.