Sunday, December 13, 2009


HARARE, Nov 25 (NNN-ZIMONLINE) — A private investor is looking to construct a runway at the controversial Marange diamond field in eastern Zimbabwe to ensure secure movement of the gemstones to a handling facility being built in Harare.

A top official of Mbada Investments, which was chosen together with another private firm to partner state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) in exploiting the Marange claim, said the runway was part of efforts to halt any illicit movement or smuggling of diamonds from the Marange or Chiadzwa field.

?Diamonds from this area will be flown to Harare in a more secure condition,? Mbada chairman Robert Mhlanga told government taskforce that visited Marange at the weekend.

?We are also constructing a diamond handling facility at the Harare International airport and time permitting we will be inviting you to see the facility in Harare,? Mbada said.

A team from the Kimberley Process (KP), the world diamond industry watchdog, that visited Zimbabwe at the end of last June condemned rampant smuggling of diamonds among other illegal activities as well as gross human rights abuses at Maranage.

But a KP meeting in Namibia about three weeks ago decided against banning Zimbabwe diamonds from the world market and instead agreed to give Harare more time to review operations at Marange and improve security arrangements to comply with the organisation?s standards. — NNN-ZimOnline

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