Government is no longer getting anything from companies mining diamonds in Chiadzwa as the field has run out of alluvial diamonds, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said on Wednesday.
Responding to a question from James Maridadi, the MDC MP for Mabvuku Tafara, during questions with notice in Parliament, Chinamasa said the quality and quantity of diamonds mined at the controversial diamond fields has declined.
Maridadi wanted to know why Chinamasa’s national budget was “the only one since 2009 which does not seek to get funding from the diamonds which the country often boasts about”.
He argued that government should be getting a significant amount of revenue from diamond mining since it was both a player through the Zimbabwe Mining Development Cooperation (ZMDC) as well as a beneficiary from taxes paid by the mining companies.
“The truth of the matter is that there are no more alluvial diamonds and the companies there, except for only one, did not set aside funds to explore and extract the kimberlitic diamonds that are now found there,” Chinamasa told the National Assembly.
The opposition lawmaker’s supplementary question came after Chinamasa claimed that government did not have funds to pay farmers who delivered grain to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) last season.
Webster Shamu, Chegutu West Zanu PF MP wanted to know when government was going to avail funding for the refurbishment of the GMB silos which are in bad shape.