Is Zim Diamond Industry Politically Sensitive?

Harare: The British Embassy in Harare said while Zimbabwe has offered a “favourable” investment climate, investors interested in the country’s diamonds should know that the industry is “politically sensitive”.

It said in its June report that British investors should consult the embassy in Harare for advice if they are interested in the local diamond industry.

“The diamond sector is particularly politically sensitive, within Zimbabwe and internationally. Investors interested in the sector are advised to contact our embassy in Harare to discuss the issues,” NewsDay quoted the embassy as saying.

It said the discovery of alluvial diamonds in Marange in 2006 had resulted in a “chaotic diamond rush”.

“This period was tarnished by widespread allegations of human rights abuses. Due to secrecy around Marange mining, production figures could be higher than the official figures,” said the embassy.

Zimbabwe’s mines and mining development minister Walter Chidakwa recently proposed the consolidation of the country’s diamond producers to improve transparency.

Diamond miners in Marange had been accused of failing to remitting truncated revenue to the national treasury.

Alluvial diamond output had been on a downward trajectory in Marange as the miners claim their deposits had depleted.