Zimbabwe’s diamond revenue has underperformed this year, raising fears of a ”parallel government in place,” according to the nation’s finance minister, Tendai Biti, who is a member of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party. Biti stated that the treasury’s revenue so far was $287.9 million this year against a target of $320.2 million, and diamond revenue of $30.4 million was far below the budget plan of $122.5 million.
“There are challenges of opaqueness. As ministry of finance, we fear that there might be a parallel government in respect of where the revenue is going and not coming to the treasury. This economy needs every resource it can get including diamond revenue,” Biti said in a statement released by MDC.
Biti condemned diamond mining company Anjin for not remitting revenue from the Marange. “There are four major mining companies in Marange. One of these companies, Anjin, has not remitted a single cent to treasury. The Constitution of Zimbabwe is very clear: all fees, taxes and other sources of revenue in Zimbabwe shall be paid into and form one Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), so the constitution is clearly being breached because not every cent is being accounted to the CRF. We bear the brunt because everyone looks at the ministry of finance, yet people do not look at where the money is coming from,” he said.
MDC, which has a power-sharing agreement with President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party, maintained that diamond revenue transparency was key to turning around the nation’s economy.