Biti Confess Ignorance On Diamond Proceeds

Biti said Zanu-(PF)’s  statement that his Ministry was refusing to award civil servants a pay increase despite receiving proceeds from diamond sales were not true, saying Treasury last received diamond money in 2010.

“This MDC-T was formed on two pillars, the trade union movement and the constitutional movement.

“Zanu-(PF) cannot today claim to be interested in workers issues by claiming that the Finance Ministry is refusing to increase salaries because it has received diamond money,” Biti said in an interview.

“I have not seen the diamond money. As the Finance Minister of this country, I have not seen and I have not received fresh diamond money since January 2011. The diamond money that Zanu-(PF) is talking about is the money which we received last year.”

Mines Minister, Obert Mpofu could not be reached for comment on the revelations by Biti who has also demanded the enactment of a Diamond Act to regulate the mining and sale of diamonds to weed out corruption.

Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai has also called for transparency in the mining and sale of the precious gems, stating that the diamonds are being looted thereby depriving ordinary Zimbabweans an improved life.

Tsvangirai was quoted on Thursday at a book launch hosted by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions saying “Where are all the proceeds going? Who is pocketing the proceeds from our national resources which must benefit all Zimbabweans in their diversity.

“This is the reason why some of us have voiced concern that there is no way we can fail to pay civil servants and to resuscitate collapsed infrastructure when every day sophisticated extractive machinery is opening the country’s belly in Chiadzwa,” said Tsvangirai.

Economic analysts say Zimbabwe’s economic growth continues to be stalled by corruption, a factor undermining the development of most African states.