Parly de­mands foren­sic au­dit on di­a­mond mines

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Aux­ilia Ka­ton­go­mara

OUT­GO­ING Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans have rec­om­mended that Govern­ment im­me­di­ately car­ries out a foren­sic au­dit on all di­a­mond com­pa­nies that were op­er­at­ing in Marange after a num­ber of ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties were noted among them the smug­gling and leak­age of the pre­cious stone.

A re­port by the Par­lia­men­tary Port­fo­lio Com­mit­tee on Mines and En­ergy said Govern­ment only re­alised $300 mil­lion in the form of roy­al­ties while po­lice re­cov­ered 2 800 carats, which were due for smug­gling.

Com­mit­tee chair Mr Temba Mliswa pre­sented the re­port in Par­lia­ment and made rec­om­men­da­tions that a foren­sic au­dit be im­me­di­ately con­ducted on all min­ing com­pa­nies that op­er­ated in Marange.

“The foren­sic au­dit should be con­ducted as a mat­ter of ur­gency on all com­pa­nies that were op­er­at­ing from Marange. The Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary of Mines and the Au­di­tor Gen­eral should en­gage in earnest all the joint ven­ture part­ners that were in­volved in the min­ing of di­a­monds in Marange,” read the rec­om­men­da­tions.

The com­mit­tee also rec­om­mended that the po­lice’s Min­er­als and Bor­der Con­trol unit be given ad­e­quate re­sources that in­clude ve­hi­cles to curb the smug­gling and theft of di­a­monds.

“The Min­er­als and Bor­der Con­trol Unit (MBCU) in­formed the com­mit­tee that for the pe­riod 2013 to 2016, they re­cov­ered ap­prox­i­mately 2 800 carats and a few ar­rests had been made.

The MBCU ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment in the man­ner in which di­a­mond cases were han­dled by the po­lice be­cause most of the ac­cused were ac­quit­ted as a re­sult of loop­holes in the Pre­cious Stones Act,” read part of the re­port.

Po­lice at­trib­uted smug­gling and leak­ages to a num­ber of fac­tors: por­ous bor­der lines, short­age of ve­hi­cles for po­lice to con­duct ef­fec­tive sur­veil­lance and lack of scan­ners and drone tech­nol­ogy to mon­i­tor the Chi­adzwa area. The com­mit­tee says that it was in­formed by the Min­er­als and Min­ing Cor­po­ra­tion of Zim­babwe that for the pe­riod 2006 to 2017, the coun­try pro­duced just over 51 mil­lion carats of di­a­monds with a value of ap­prox­i­mately $2,4 bil­lion.

“Out of that fig­ure, the Govern­ment re­ceived ap­prox­i­mately $300 mil­lion in the form of roy­al­ties. This is in sharp con­trast to the pro­jec­tions that were made by Hon­ourable Obert Mpofu in 2011 that on an­nual ba­sis the coun­try would gen­er­ate rev­enues worth $2 bil­lion,” read the re­port.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.