A diamond miner works at an alluvial deposit (illustrative)
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, seeking to remain in power after this year's presidential elections, has published a report on the country's mining sector recommending that indigenous Zimbabweans hold a 100% share in diamond companies working alluvial deposits, The Times reports.
Moreover, the indigenous population would hold a 51% share of companies that run non-alluvial diamond mining operations; a 51% share of companies mining other minerals and a 51% share of "all new investments in the mining sector," the report – compiled by Zanu-PF member Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere – said.
Last March, the government instituted an Economic Empowerment program that mandated that foreign companies whose assets in Zimbabwe totaled more than $100,000 give a 51% share to the local population. The program was controversial and eventually amended, allowing for 13 committees to be set up to evaluate the minimum threshold for 13 different mining sectors.
According to the Times article, the cabinet has instructed the country's mining businesses to implement the decision.
In other news from Zimbabwe, some $100 million realized from last year's Kimberley Process-approved sale of diamonds from the Marange fields has gone "missing," the Zimbabwe Standard reports.
The missing money came to light after Mugabe's office submitted a report to the Finance Ministry saying that the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) had deposited $170 million in diamond revenue into the Treasury. The Treasury countered that it had only received $64 million.
Deputy Minister of Mines Gift Chimanikire told the Standard he hadn't been aware of the transaction at all, and Minister of Finance Tendai Biti said he has ordered Zimbabwe's accountant-general to begin tracing the missing $100 million.