Sunday, November 09, 2014

Missing billions

A September report by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZIMVAC) estimates that 63 percent of Zimbabweans are poor, with 16 percent of the country’s 12.5 million people deemed extremely poor. Yet Zimbabwe has lost 12 billion dollars in illicit financial flows over the last three decades and experts say this illegal practice is perpetuating social inequalities and poverty.

  Zimbabwe has vast natural resources, the blessings of its natural wealth has not benefitted its people. The nation has of some of the largest diamond and platinum reserves in Africa and the world, and has over 40 exploitable minerals. All of this could potentially transform the lives of Zimbabwe’s citizens.

The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) points to a dearth of transparency and accountability in the management of the Marange diamond mines. Minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa said in December 2013, during his presentation of the 2014 national budget, that the government did not receive any diamond dividends in that year.

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