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Global Witness Accuses Zimbabwe Of Diamond Scandal

The Global Witness NGO, which specializes in the fight against the plundering of natural resources, has just made an overwhelming revelation about the leaders of Zimbabwe. According to the NGO, Zimbabwean leaders have hijacked profits from the exploitation of diamonds for years to finance the repression of their political opponents despite the sanctions of the international community, said Monday Global Witness.

” Companies detained by the very dreaded intelligence agency, the Zimbabwean army or the government itself have deliberately concealed their accounts and operations, ” said the  anti-corruption NGO . According to Global Witness, these funds came from a diamond mining company in the Marange mine (east) and were reportedly destined for the Zimbabwe secret service (Central Intelligence Organization,  CIO )

 

Previously secret documents suggest that stones produced by this company named Kusena Diamonds were sold in Antwerp and Dubai and were used to finance the country’s security services, a Global Witness report said.

The NGO  cites the case of another company taken to task by the army, which also sold diamonds in breach of sanctions imposed by the European Union in response to repression of the opposition.

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” Elements of the  CIO  and the military are closely involved in the fight against political opposition and in many cases of human rights violations ,” according to Global Witness. Asked by AFP , the Zimbabwean authorities did not immediately respond to these accusations.

The London-based NGO recalls that in 2011, Tendai Biti, who was then Minister of Finance, accused the ruling elite of misappropriating $ 15 billion in diamond revenues. With a billion-dollar debt and medieval infrastructure, the wealth generated by the diamond could have been used to bring Zimbabwe out of its deep economic and social crisis, the organization continues, recalling unemployment and poverty rates excessive.

In 2013, a parliamentary report reported “serious differences between the government’s profits from these activities and the revenues that the mining companies in the sector have ensured paid into the Treasury . ” Global Witness said in 2012 that the  IOC  had received 100 million dollars (83 million euros) and a fleet of 200 vehicles from a Hong Kong-based businessman in exchange for diamonds sold off of the official circuits.

Zimbabwe has been ruled by President Robert Mugabe since his independence in 1980. The country has been suffering from a severe agrarian reform in the early 2000s, a serious economic and financial crisis that is fueling the anger of the population . It caused last year an umpteenth wave of protest severely repressed. Zimbabwe has never published credible statistics on its diamond activities, which began in 2006.

In 2013, the EU lifted most of the sanctions imposed in Zimbabwe in 2002 to protest political violence, including the embargo on the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation ( ZMDC ), the diamond marketing entity .

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Written by How Africa

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