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Zimbabwe dilemma over diamonds in Dubai

The cash-strapped Zimbabwe government is in a quandary after $30 million raised from a diamond auction in Dubai last month failed to find its way to Treasury

Zimbabwe sold 400,000 carats in March through a contract with Global Diamond Tenders in what the government described as ‘a test” run.

According to The Africa Report, the proceeds amounting to $30 million have still not been received by Harare It is understood that under normal circumstances, transactions should not take more than three days.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa was quoted by the State controlled Sunday Mail newspaper on Sunday saying that the DDE had failed the test. “Naturally, DDE have failed the test. Remember, when we went there we were testing the market,” he said, “Why would we continue selling our diamonds in Dubai under such conditions?”

Zimbabwe was reportedly impressed with the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) as it offered better prices than its counterparts in Antwerp, Belgium. The southern African country had participated in two auctions in Antwerp, in December and February.

In April, President Robert Mugabe, travelled to the United Arab Emirates and visited the Dubai Exchange as the government sought new markets for the country’s diamonds. Mugabe was full of praise for DDE, saying: “It is encouraging to see how Dubai has developed tailor-made strategies to an industry which was new to them only 12 years ago.

Ever since diamonds were discovered in Chiadzwa 2006, Zimbabweans are yet to realise the full benefits of their country’s diamond wealth. Source: The Africa Report

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