AFRICANGLOBE – In the past, it was the yellow metal that determined the value of the economy, but today, the diamond industry has shaken the world and sent waves across the global market.
Zimbabwe has proved to the world that it is no longer just gold that glitters, but the everlasting diamonds as well.
Diamonds are girls’ best friend, is what some people say.
But what about the biggest diamond that comes into play?
It’s a man’s best friend, not one that rests on his hand, but stays in its place.
It’s a nice piece of land.
The above poem could have been sung for a country that saw its political dispensation take a new and cruel twist after discovering the precious mineral.
Europe was angry. The country’s former colonisers were bitter. Manoeuvres to declare Marange diamonds bloody gathered momentum.
Those who had traditionally controlled this lucrative industry could not fathom the arrival of a new player on the scene.
But the question is why was there so much politicking at the dawn of the diamond day on Zimbabwe?
“Zimbabwe upset the balance of power in the industry,” said Dr Davison Gomo, a Black empowerment advocate.
On Tuesday last week, the EU held a meeting in Brussels to review the issue of illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Last week, the bloc announced that it had struck off 81 individuals from the sanctions list.
However, the bloc retained the illegal sanctions on the Marange diamonds as well as the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.
How the country has gone to this extent to court enmity solely for its precious mineral is a puzzle.
“There are other diamond mining companies from Zimbabwe, but they have not been sanctioned because they are not government-owned. The idea is to crush the empowerment vision,” Dr Gomo added.
The politicisation of Zimbabwean diamonds was driven and promoted at a time those who imposed illegal sanctions on the country realised the nation was on course to rebuilding its economy.
The mineral was at best a sanctions buster and those against Zimbabwe could not stomach such.
“The fact that the country could rebuild its economy and get back on track was not sweet news to its European enemies,” said Mr Ted Muzoroza, a minerals policy expert.
Even as the country fights to defend its right to assert itself and define its economic and political discourse, those that have observed events are asking questions.
Who exactly did Zimbabwe annoy by this diamond discovery in its backyard?
Why has the issue been so politicised?
Nevertheless, the Southern African country has tilted the traditional balance of power in the diamond industry?