HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
The takeover of gem-mining firms in Marange by
the Zimbabwe government last year was unlawful, a Zimbabwean
diamond industry official said Monday.
In 2016, the
Zimbabwean government ordered all seven diamond firms in Marange
to cease operations and merge into a single company, in which
the government owns 50-percent shareholding.
agreed to join the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC)
while three others including two Chinese firms had refused and
taken the government to court.
The cases are still
before the courts.
evidence before a parliamentary committee, former chief
executive of ZCDC Mark Mabhudhu said the new company was not
“For any institution
that has government shareholding, an Act of Parliament has to be
the force driving it but this was not done in the case of ZCDC,”
He said while it was
a wise decision to consolidate the firms, the process could have
been managed better to ensure a smooth process.
Walter Chidhakwa has acknowledged that disruptions caused by the
consolidation process have slowed down diamond production in the
Marange fields in eastern Zimbabwe.
Last year, 924,388
carats of diamonds were produced, down from 3 million the
despite grades plummeting to 0.15 carats per tonne in 2015 from
4 in 2010, gem mining in the country remained viable if better
technology and equipment were employed.
He said with the
right technology, Zimbabwe could make more money from its gems.