Home Business What happened to the $15bn diamond money that President Robert Mugabe claims was not accounted for?

What happened to the $15bn diamond money that President Robert Mugabe claims was not accounted for?

by reporter263

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has accused foreign mining companies of stealing the country’s wealth, after an announcement that the government will take control of all diamond mines.Here are confessions and leads of what could have happened to the money:

1.Mujuru India diamonds claims

VICE President Mujuru appeared to ignite a diplomatic storm last Sunday after telling a church gathering that India had “built a whole town” from smuggled Marange diamonds.

Surat, a city in the Indian state of Gujarat, is considered the world’s biggest diamond cutting and polishing centre.

The flow of cheap diamonds from Marange diamonds proved critical for city last year after processors there were forced to stop purchasing rough diamonds from big miners due to 20 per cent increase in prices.

Mujuru however said the Indians had prospered while Zimbabwe had nothing to show for its diamonds.
2. Robert Mhlanga- Mbada diamonds Chairman, Mugabe former personal pilot

A trusted lieutenant of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe was reportedly on a R185-million property-buying spree in 2011, acquiring prime real estate on the Durban north coast and in one of the plushest areas of Sandton in Johannesburg.

Shadowy multimillionaire Robert Mhlanga is chairperson of Mbada Diamonds, one of the biggest mining companies operating in the controversial Marange diamond fields in southeastern Zimbabwe. Mbada recently said that it had turned over $600-million from diamonds in two years.


Mhlanga’s property dealings have raised eyebrows, not least because he appears content to pay up to six times the going rate for the properties he buys. Speculation is rife in Zimbabwe that Mhlanga represents the Mugabe family’s interests in Marange and has been buying properties on their behalf.

3. Gideon Gono Wikileaks

In 2008, at the height of artisanal mining in Marange, the then reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono estimated that the government was losing $1.2 billion a year to artisanal miners. Gono performed two roles in the Marange diamond rush which gave him first-hand experience on the volume of illicit trade involved. First he was at the helm of RBZ when the Central Bank purchased diamonds from artisanal miners in Marange between 2006 and 2007. Secondly, Gono is mentioned in a US diplomatic cable that he personally dispatched his agents to buy diamonds for him from artisanal miners. This means Gono’s estimate was not a wild guess but rather was drawn from the statistical data gathered from his involvement in Marange. If therefore artisanal miners could earn in excess of $1.2 billion annually then mining corporations could earn even more using high tech equipment and with access to markets.

4.Andrew Cranswick names Sabina Mugabe in diamonds scandal

Some allegations came from tribal leaders in the Mutare region near Mozambique, where Marange is located. One source is a member of the ZANU-PF central committee, who stated that the late Sabina Mugabe “had been profiting from the purchase and sale of [Marange] diamonds”. The name of the source is not redacted by Wikileaks, leaving him vulnerable to reprisals.

Andrew Cranswick, ACR’s chief executive, is identified by name as a source for one cable, giving specific details about specific individuals in the smuggling ring, including a prominent South African.

“It was highly irresponsible for Wikileaks to publish names,” he told The Daily Telegraph in 2010. “This is extremely dangerous and puts peoples’ lives at risk.”


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