Dube who was appointed chairperson of Marange Resources is the latest of retired army boss who has landed a top post in the diamond industry in the country, something that international rights Global Witness which published a 22 page naming several serving or retired senior army and police officers who are board members of diamond companies in Marange diamond mines said must be prevented to prevent diamond revenue from funding conflicts.
Permanent secretary of the Ministry of Defence MartinRushwaya, Oliver Chibage and Nonkosi Ncube commissioners in the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Romeo Mutsvunguma a retired army Colonel are board members of Anjin diamond mine which is jointly owned by a Chinese company AFECC and Matt Bronze an obscure Zimbabwe firm, Global Witness said.
Robert Mhlanga the chairperson of Mbada diamond mine is a former pilot officer of the Air Force of Zimbabwe and represents many of the former military personnel in diamond mines.
Dube has been named in the past in a UN report of top army personnel who were involved in the looting of diamonds in the DRC when Zimbabwe was helping Kinshasa to fight rebels during the late 90s.
Apart from being named by the UN the retired Colonel’s son Mthulisi Dube was arrested in 2007 for illegal possession of diamonds and gold when he was arrested at their family home in Greendale suburb in Harare and the case died a natural death.
Global Witness in its report said:“Zimbabwe government of national unity should pass legislation banning serving members of the security services from control over or beneficial ownership of, mining companies.”
“The GNU should pass legislation banning serving members of the military, the CIO and other members of the security services from control over or beneficial ownership of mining companies.”
“Anjin board members include senior serving and retired military and police officers and the permanent secretary of the ministry of Defence.”
The report titled “Diamonds : A good deal of Zimbabwe?” said ordinary Zimbabweans have the right to know how the Marange diamonds are being exploited years after the mostly alluvial gems were discovered in the eastern parts of the country.
“Global Witness has repeatedly called for transparency over the ownership of concessions such as those controlled by Mbada. Revenues from Marange diamonds fields represent a potentially large windfall to support development in Zimbabwe,” the group said.
“The country’s citizens have a right to know how these revenues are managed. There is a real risk of these revenues being used to finance violence during future elections.”
Marange diamond mining has been shrouded in secrecy since all the companies which are in Chiadzwa which are linked to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party were awarded licences without going to tender.
The deal between the Chinese owned Anjin was signed by Mugabe and those who were present include the Minister of Defence Emmerson Mnangagwa and Chinese military attaches in the country.
The KP has licenced all the four mining companies Anjin, Mbada, Diamond Mining Company (DMC) and Marange resources to sell their gems although global diamond groups were opposed to the clearance calling for more transparency.