Mernat Mafirakurewa Business Editor
THE Chief Executive Officer of Mbada Diamonds, Patience Khumalo, has resigned from the company, she confirmed last night.
Khumalo, speaking exclusively to Business Chronicle, said: “I was the first employee and I was always bound to leave one day.“I’m proud of what we’ve achieved in a very short space of time, in particular Mbada Diamonds’ ongoing contribution to the economic security of this country.”
Khumalo — the daughter of Mbada Diamonds chairman Robert Mhlanga — said she was taking time out to consider her next move, hinting strongly that she would be going abroad to pursue “personal interests”.
A Mbada Diamonds spokesman said last night: “She resigned to pursue other interests after serving the company with distinction in various capacities since its inception.
“She had signaled in December last year that she wouldn’t be seeking a renewal of her contract and we were all prepared for it.
“Luciano Thomas is the acting CEO and the board will make an announcement at the appropriate time.”
Khumalo leaves soon after the company surpassed the $1 billion mark in revenue collection since it commenced operations in 2010.
The diamond mining firm has become popular for its generosity through sponsoring the Mbada Diamonds Cup and various corporate social responsibility activities.
Mbada has renovated schools, equipped them with furniture, textbooks and uniforms in addition to a scholarship fund that benefits bright students from poor backgrounds.
The company has also provided farming inputs to families that were relocated during its mining operations and provided training in collaboration with the Zimbabwe Farmers Union
Mbada — which is one of seven diamond mining companies in Chiadzwa — is a 50-50 venture between the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and New Reclamation Group’s Grandwell Holdings of South Africa.
Since commencing operations, Mbada has spent $214,5 million on capital expenditure with direct production-related expenditure totalling $225,6 million.
The government has so far received $424 million in the form of taxes, dividends and advances with close to $40 million having been spent on corporate social responsibility activities.
Mbada has over 1,700 employees and is the largest diamond producer in the country.