To coincide with the international diamond conference currently being held at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Partnership Africa Canada has released a new report: Greed and Corruption in Zimbabwe’s Marange Diamond Fields:
The report is divided into three main sections. The first looks at ongoing trade irregularities and the lack of transparency of diamond revenues, and examines ways ZANU and the global diamond industry have interacted, before, during and after the Kimberley Process imposed an embargo on Marange stones in 2009. The second examines the various revenue streams of Obert Mpofu and concludes the Minister of Mines is utilizing monies and assets divorced from his ministerial salary and known business entities. The third offers policy suggestions and recommendations that would improve the management and public beneficiation of Zimbabwe’s diamond revenues.
The biggest conclusion of this report is that despite government pronouncements to the contrary, the illicit trade of Marange diamonds is alive and well. A parallel trade in Marange diamonds continues to thrive, with the full knowledge and complicity of top officials in the Ministry of Mines, ZMDC, MMCZ and military.
The theft of Marange diamonds is perhaps the biggest single plunder of diamonds the world has seen since Cecil Rhodes. Conservative estimates place the losses due to illicit activity at over $2 billion since 2008.
PAC has found that while the mismanagement of Marange remains primarily a Zimbabwean problem, the global dimensions of the illegality has metastasized to compromise most of the major diamond markets of the world. Previously most of the illegal trade primarily involved South Africa, Mozambique, UAE and India. This remains the case, but greater vigilance by enforcement authorities should now extend to other centres, particularly Israel.