Mugabe Defends Mbada, Canadile Contracts

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RAPAPORT…  Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe defended diamond mining contracts the country’s government holds with Mbada Diamonds and Canadile Miners, according to ZimOnline. Mugabe added that the government is ready to begin selling diamonds now that a Kimberley Process (KP) monitor has been appointed to monitor their sales and distribution.

“There are two million carats now from Chiadzwa. We hope we can start selling and we hope that the yield will be invested and also assist us in raising the standards of living our people,” the president told journalists.

ZimOnline quoted Mugabe as saying, “Initially, we wanted ZMDC [Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation] to go into the area and start doing some mining and tell us what is there. We had a list of companies applying. Finally two of them, Mbada and Canadile, were chosen. They were recommended and I was shown the papers and their proposals. The ministry then decided that for now they were preferable to the rest. We said fine. They are the ones who are there now.”

The president added that some problems have come to his attention. For instance, he said that he was “dismayed” by press reports alleging that two senior officials of Canadile had been arrested.

“Diamonds are always an attraction — I don’t know of anyone who will not be tempted,” he was quoted as stating.

ZimOnline added that Mugabe also attempted to deny that African Consolidated Resources (ACR) had any legitimate claim on the Chiadzwa diamonds. ACR is currently locked in a contentious court battle with the government regarding these claims.


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