ZCDC scales up the transparency drive
THE Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC)’s recent publication of annual reports is a sign that the diamond sector is well on course towards achieving transparency in line with international best practice.
Audited reports for Zimbabwe’s diamond sector had last been made public in 2013 amid accusations, back then, that the sector was shrouded in secrecy to abet corrupt practices.
However, and in line with the New Dispensation’s thrust to anchor economic revival on the back of the mining sector underpinned by a 2023 milestone by which mineral exports are set to top US$12 billion, Government is now pursuing a more transparent diamond mining industry.
The transparency drive is not only targeted for diamond mining but all other minerals. The latest reports availed cover three years, that is 2016 to 2018.
In an interview, ZCDC head public relations Mr Sugar Chagonda, said the state diamond miner’s latest move is informed by the need to follow tenants of the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act.
“We are a public institution open to public scrutiny,” said Mr Chagonda, “We are thus following the dictates of good corporate governance of which transparency and accountability are critical tenets.
“Most importantly, this is also in line with the expectations of the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act,” he said.
Extractives sector analyst and expert of Tax and Natural Resource Governance Mr Mukasiri Sibanda, who has previously been at the forefront of advocating for increased transparency in the diamond industry, said ZCDC had passed the transparency test.
Mr Sibanda said it is also important to note the role played by the civil society in pushing for this transparency and also hastened to call on the state miner to consider doing this on regular intervals starting with the publishing of its 2019 operations.
“. . . considering the seven-year information drought on audited annual reports, the disclosure by ZCDC in 2020 comes as a huge relief,” said Mr Sibanda.
“Also important to note is that, this time around, it was civil society organisations that influenced ZCDC to disclose. . . Small victories such as this one on disclosure of annual reports by ZCDC are needed (and) energises the struggle for transparency,” he said.
Stakeholders will be following activities in the diamond industry with keen interest as the sector is expected to contribute US$1 billion towards the 2023 milestone.
Gold is primed to play the biggest role with a US$4 billion contribution followed by platinum, which is expected to weigh in with US$3 billion.
The new dispensation has identified mining and agriculture as key sectors to anchor economic recovery as the country angles to attain middle income statues.