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Mugabe keen to nationalize Zimbabwe's diamond industry

Mugabe keen to nationalize Zimbabwe's diamond industry

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has said that his government would take possession of all diamond operations in the country.

The 92 year old president has accused diamond firms of robbing the country’s wealth.

Companies that have been mining diamonds have robbed us of our wealth. That is why we have now said the state must have a monopoly

“Companies that have been mining diamonds have robbed us of our wealth. That is why we have now said the state must have a monopoly,” he said.

He further added that the nationalisation of the industry was necessary to prevent widespread swindling and smuggling by mining companies.

His comments come a week after the country’s ministry of mines ordered all mining companies to halt work and leave the Marange fields, saying they had not renewed their licenses.

However analysts say that the latest move by Mugabe’s government could further dim Zimbabwe’s reputation, and make it a more risky investment destination.

“Zimbabwe is a known, risky jurisdiction to operate in,” John Turner, head of the mining group at law firm Fasken Martineau told Reuters.

Media reports indicate that Zimbabwe was the eighth largest diamond producer in the world with 4.7 million carats in 2014.

It would be recalled that Zimbabwe, under Mugabe; its only known political leader since independence has a history of nationalization, the most popular one being the land nationalization policy that resulted in the violent eviction of over 4,000 white farmers from the country years back.

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