The Finance Minister of Zimbabwe mourned what he termed the loss of "billions of dollars" in legal agreements for diamond mining rights in the southern African country, Rough and Polished reported. The minister attributed the loss of potential profits to the absence of an adept team of lawyers that would aggressively defend the country's interests.
Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Tendai Biti termed some of the contracts that the country had already signed with foreign investors, including agreements with diamond companies in Chiadzwa, "disastrous", according to Zimbabwe's The Herald. Biti, who made the comments in a lecture to students at the University of Zimbabwe, said that in one instance the country sold off massive tracts of diamond-rich land for a paltry $5 million.
In another instance referred to by Biti, the Zimbabwean government handed a foreign diamond company the rights for a 110 kilometer stretch of land worth at least $56 billion, for a mere $200 million.