Zimbabwe will undergo a major economic transformation from the sale of its diamonds from Marange district, says its Minister of Mines and Minerals Development.
Obert Mpofu made the remarks after the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme gave Zimbabwe the green-light to sell its gems from Marange.
“Zimbabwe will not be begging anymore,” Mpofu said yesterday.
“We are now going to unleash our worthiness to the world.”
He returned from the Democratic Republic of Congo where a KPCS plenary voted to allow the trade in diamonds without any conditions.
Mpofu said Zimbabwe is poised to become an economic giant on the global scene, from the sale of diamonds.
“The Ministry of Mines has the pleasure to announce that it is ready to lead and champion the economic recovery of this country through a robust, dynamic and aggressive policy to grow the mining sector in Zimbabwe whose growth is currently bullish and set to contribute in excess of 50 percent of our Gross Domestic Product,” said Mpofu.
The United States and other Western countries who had initially opposed Zimbabwe’s right to sell its gems alleging unsubstantiated human rights abuses had changed their stance.
“You cannot play against a giant, without Zimbabwe you can’t have KP,” he said. “Our current production is estimated by volume to be in excess of 25 percent of the world production.”
A KPCS monitor will visit Zimbabwe in the next few weeks to supervise other new entrants in Marange after the firms indicated that they were ready for sale.
Turning to a motion in Parliament by Bulawayo South MP, Eddie Cross (MDC-T) that Marange diamonds should be nationalised, Mpofu said the legislator wanted to influence deliberations in the DRC.
“He wanted to please his handlers, but it failed because you cannot be diverted by people seeking cheap politics through political posturing,” he said.
Mpofu asked why Cross wanted Marange fields nationalised and not firms such as Murowa and Zimplats.
He said the mining industry had in the past contributed a paltry US$2,6 million in royalties to the Government, yet Marange diamonds had contributed almost US$300 million to date despite bottlenecks that were there in selling the gems.
Zimbabwe is set to earn in excess of US$2 billion per year in gross revenues from selling diamonds.