‘Officials looted Chiadzwa diamonds’

Zimbabwe is yet to extract diamonds worth US$15 billion from Chiadzwa, putting paid to claims that gems worth that much were looted from there, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission has said.

Rather, Zacc says, gems worth millions of dollars were stolen from vaults of diamond mining companies when Government cancelled their licences and created the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company. Zacc Commissioner in Charge of Investigations Mr Goodson Nguni said former President Robert Mugabe’s statement insinuating US$15 billion had been looted was a metaphor to express the magnitude of corruption.

He said: “The US$15 billion figure was not factual; it was more of figurative speech. We have investigated the matter and diamonds mined in Chiadzwa are not worth that much.”

ZCDC was formed in 2016 when Government cancelled licences of mining houses Marange Resources, Mbada Diamonds, Anjin, Diamond Mining Company, DTZ-Ozgeo and Jinan.

Mr Nguni said former Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa and his then Permanent Secretary Professor Francis Gudyanga were being investigated over diamonds taken from these companies’ vaults.

He said investigators found that Government officials disabled the closed circuit television systems and raided vaults containing diamonds whose exact value is yet to be ascertained.

The diamonds were reportedly taken to the Mines Ministry but were unaccounted for.

Zacc investigators said the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, the internationally recognised diamond trade regulator, had no record of the seized gems being sold legally.

“The net is closing in on former top officials at the Mines and Mining Development Ministry. The investigation is complete and Chidhakwa and Gudyanga are likely to be charged (this) week over the diamonds which were stolen from diamond mining companies,” said Mr Nguni.

Another investigator revealed that diamonds sent to China to be used for training of local cutters and polishers could not be accounted for.

The diamonds were shipped to China through a company owned by a Mines Ministry official who cannot be named at this stage for fear of jeopardising investigations.

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  • fidel

    This is an insult to all right thinking Zimbabweans to suggest that diamonds were only looted after the formation of ZCDC in 2015. Commissioner in Charge your analysis is too simplistic or is it a ploy to protect the culprits. I urge you to go back to the drawing board and institute more appropriate and scientific investigative methods than claim that Mugabe was hallucinating when he made pronouncements of the $15 billion gem heist. Memories of the infamous factional fights are still vivid where the vanquished group laid claim of ZACC being used as leverage over them. Was it true?

    • sarah Mahoka

      I think you suffer from an inability to picture the quantity of a billion. It is ridiculous to imagine that zw sold uncut diamonds to the tune of 15 billion. In all that time that the country was doing business in other areas why do you not add up what all other businesses raised so you can see how easy it is to sell quantities worth a billion. Zimbabweans have the problem of comparing the US $ to the zimbabwe dollar. Check out the country GDP

      • fidel

        Oh my foot. I thought the grade 2 qualification was a hoax. Former treasurer of the women’s league. Surely the ghost is haunting you and recommend that you undergo an exorcism rite so that you can logically follow discussions on this fora. Looting is not selling.

        • sarah Mahoka

          Grade two does not know number beyond 100

          • fidel

            Your namesake was a grade 2 dropout. Zim grade twos know how to count and transact in billions. Need to be reminded of the hyper inflation days when the currency went into a tailspin and billions were needed to buy a loaf of bread.

    • Muzambiringa

      You can only account for diamonds that you know existed. They can’t audit diamonds which were never in the books, it’s impossible. So yes, there were diamonds stolen and we may never know how much. What is reasonable however is that that $15 billion is a number pulled out of Mugabe’s arse, to put it into perspective, the entire global production of diamonds in 2017 was $15.6B, Russia is estimated to be the largest producing nation by value at 35%,followed by Botswana at 22%, Canada at 14%, Angola at 8%, South Africa at 7%, Namibia at 5%, and Australia at 3%. I suggest we let ZACC do their work and take an evidence based approach to justice. lol
      As for the ‘claims’ of vanquished G40 weevils. those nincompoops would/will say anything to ‘discredit’ ED & co. that is the nature of politics, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jonso wanks-up tomorrow with revelations of who killed Tongo!

      • fidel

        I agree with you on the fundamentals of auditing and the Commissioner in Charge never came near to that in the $15 billion presentation. Looted Marange diamonds were alluvial diamonds which needed even the crudest stone age implements to excavate unlike in the statistical countries you presented. It took 30 minutes to mine a diamond in Marange and 30 days to do the same in Russia, Botswana etc. Let’s agree that our resources were looted and hundreds of people were killed for that. Maguwu has some of the statistics. The beefy between Zacc and the Gang of forty started well before the new dispensation and the fruits are there for all to see.

    • Mathias

      Very true Fidel.Day by day am loosing the little hope I had in this administration.surely people are not stupid to think looting was only done after the termination of licences.We know the reason the termination was done because there was no accountability to the mined diamonds and the former president was referring to the period before ZMDC took charge.Here to try and dispute the amount is not the issue hence the need to find out what happened.ZACC should be careful not to be used by politicians because tommorow they will face jail when the politicians forgive each other.
      To me you rather not investigate at all rather insult our intelligence.if you to be taken seriously do so from the start of diamond mining up to now

  • zimbotry

    Govt. officials means ZanuPF officials. Just as we always knew. Please can we see some Police action.

  • Gushungo WekuGP

    Why are you already coming to a conclusion if investigations are still going on? Trace this diamond story it starts in DRC