Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Diamonds and life situation

You may be aware that Zimbabwe has finally been allowed by the Kimberly Process Diamond marketing syndicate to sell its stockpile of alluvial diamonds. It is estimated that Zimbabwe currently has diamond stocks worth about US2,5 Billion. It is also estimated that the diamond find in Zimbabwe at the moment is the biggest find in over a century. Basically, Zimbabwe's find rivals or perhaps exceeds the Kimberly (South Africa) diamond fields which largely built South Africa's economy to what it is now.

When the fields were discovered around 2007, villagers dug out huge trenches and sold diamonds literally on the streets. A few wise men instantly became millionaires. The government reacted swiftly and deployed the army. Rumours surfaced that there were brutalities and wanton human rights abuses. The international community immediately slammed us with a selling and marketing ban. Since then we have been stuck with the gems.

Our economy has been struggling for the past 10 years. Presently, our GDP was estimated at US2 Billion at the beginning of the year. It has since been revised downwards to US1,4 Billion. At peak, our GDP hovered around US6 Billion.

The question is, with our current situation, should we be allowed to sell or not?


  1. The raising of the ban could be strategic. The players in the industry are by now preparing to cash in on the find. To me, if Zimbabwe remains resolute and use its resources wisely and efficiently devoid of corruption and personal interest and selfishness and greed, the lifting of the ban would be beneficial. Because it does not matter what the international organisations and individuals have to say, if Zimbabweans work in the interest of Zimbabwe and work selflessly, it would be beneficial. But with most African leaders I doubt. They prefer to steal billions into foreign banks and pretend they are nationalists... while their loot serve the interest of the colonialists. Even if they save their loot in the country Entrepreneurs would be able to borrow to develop the country. I don't mind if African leaders steal to develop their hometowns and regions and states because if every president/leader develops his/her area, soon the country would be fully developed... i.e. if democracy is allowed to prevail.

  2. You are spot on. I personally feel we should be allowed to sell. But like you rightly said, we need to see the spin offs right at the street level. It will be folly that after all our cries for this mineral to be sold for our collective benefit, at the end of the day only a few fatcats would line their pockets whilst the rest languish in poverty. Unfortunately for us as Africans, no one acts in the interests of any country despite all the rhetoric we parrot about democracy, nationalism etc etc. With that sad reality, Africa may still have a very long way to go...