By Staff Reporter
FINANCE minister Patrick Chinamasa says he is not expecting any revenue from the country’s diamonds as they have run out and the companies mining the precious minerals have no capacity to go deeper.
Responding to a question from MDC-T MP James Maridadi on why government was not realising enough revenue from diamonds, Chinamasa said diamonds at Marange were now elusive.
“Alluvial diamonds are finished and most of the companies we gave the right to mine there have no capacity to engage in further exploration. Just one company has the capacity to do so and it has discovered that we still have the kimberlite which requires more capital,” he said.
Although he did not mention the company, Mbada is the only firm believed to have declared an interest in continuing at Marange and are in the process of acquiring more equipment.
The admission by Chinamasa comes after Information Minister Jonathan Moyo recently conceded that the country’s much-vaunted Marange diamonds may not save Zimbabwe after all as they have effectively run out.
When the Marange diamonds were “discovered” around 2005-6 then mines minister Obert Mpofu claimed that Zimbabwe would earn US$2 billion annually from the gems.
Mpofu famously boasted that the country would never again need to beg for financial help.
But Zimbabwe’s economy has remained deep in the mire since; government coffers are dry and the Zanu PF administration continues to plead with China as well as with the West for help.
Chinamasa said the country will now need extra sources of revenue.
“These companies did not build on anything or reserves so we are left with a challenge to find more avenues for fresh revenue,” he said.
When told that Zanu PF were the authors of the country’s woes by MDC-T MP, Settlement Chikwinya through corruption, Chinamasa conceded saying graft was caused by sanctions slapped on President Robert Mugabe and his leadership.
“Sanctions have caused corruption and other vices you are talking about; business is no longer done directly due to sanctions and for your own information these illegal measures were put on us not because of human rights violations but because we had taken back our land,” he said.
Chinamasa went a gear up accusing organisations that do corruption rankings of having an agenda against Zimbabwe.