Saturday, November 17, 2012

Diamonds are a dictator's best friend

This week, Partnership Africa Canada, a member of the Kimberley Process, the world regulatory body on the diamond trade, accused Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s ruling circle, international gem dealers and criminals of stealing at least $2 billion worth of diamonds.

Zimbabawe’s eastern Marange field, one of the world’s biggest diamond deposits, has been mined since 2006 and its vast earning could have turned around the nation’s economy, the Partnership Africa Canada contended. But the revenue from the sale of the diamonds have not made it to the state treasury. Millions have gone to Mugabe and his cronies.

Mugabe has been in power in the southern African nation for decades by silencing through violence his critics and intimidating the populace. Poverty is rampant in a country.

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