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Zimbabwe Government Robbed of Wealth, Takes Control of Diamond Mining Fields

(Credit: DigitalGlobe via Getty Images) MARANGE DIAMOND FIELDS, CHIADZWA, ZIMBABWE-NOVEMBER 12, 2012: The Marange diamond fields are located in eastern Zimbabwe near Chiadzwa village as seen on this satellite image of the mine and airstrip from November 12, 2012. The Marange diamond fields, reportedly one of the largest diamond finds in the century, are controversial due to accusations of egregious human rights violations, smuggling and corruptionControversial Marange Diamond Fields, Chiadzwa, Zimbabwe(Credit: JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images) Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe delivers a speech on November 12, 2012 during the first day of the Zimbabwean Diamond Conference in Victoria Falls. Zimbabwe hosts an international diamond conference aimed at polishing the image of the country and help attract investors to the sector which was tainted by serious violations including graft, torture and murder. Zimbabwe's diamond sector has been blemished by allegations of graft, labour and human rights violations that occured when Harare deployed security forces to drive away illegal miners from the eastern Marange diamond fields. ZIMBABWE-ECONOMY-RIGHTS-DIAMOND
March 5
8:23 AM 2016

On February 22, the Zimbabwe government announced that the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Co. will take over mining and ordered shut down of all diamond-mining companies' operations.  They also need to leave the premises of Marange and Chimanimani areas.  This move of President Robert Mugabe is due to billions of dollars being robbed from the country because of smuggling and deceit.

"Lots of smuggling and swindling has taken place and the companies that have been mining, I want to say robbed us of our wealth," Mugabe said. "That is why we decided that this area should be a monopoly area and only the state should be able to do the mining in that area."

Mining in Zimbabwe has been the largest source of foreign exchange.  The country has the largest platinum reserve in the world next to Africa and other metals such as iron ore, gold and chrome.  The nation's diamond production dropped to 420,000 carats during the first five months of last year from 660,000 carats a year earlier, as reported by Bloomberg.

According to President Mugabe, no meaningful returns had been received by the government from the Chiadzwa diamond fields and stole from the State.  During his interview with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation in time for his 92nd birthday, he told Chinese President Xi Jinping during his state visit in the country that Zimbabwe government was not pleased with Anjin's operations. He also mentioned that taking over the Chiadzwa mining operations did not affect Zimbabwe-China relations, allAfrica reported.

President Mugabe's comments was announced a week after the mine's ministry asked all mining companies to stop operation and vacate the Marange diamond mine, informing that their licenses have not been renewed.  Mbada Diamonds, which is the biggest diamond mine in Marange, filed lawsuit at the High Court against the government and was permitted to take control of its mining assets, according to Reuters Africa.

Because of the wealth being robbed from the nation, President Mugabe decided to take over all of the mining fields in the nation.  However, there are reports that the relationship between Zimbabwe and China could be affected since Anjin was of the Chinese origin. 

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