- Robert Mugabe has accused foreign mining companies in Zimbabwe of stealing from the country
- His reason is that the country is not making the expected wealth from the mining of diamonds
- He also accuses Zimbabweans of helping the foreign nationals to steal from their country
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has accused foreign mining companies in Zimbabwe of stealing diamonds from the country.
Mr. Mugabe made his allegations in an interview on state-run ZBC TV. He accused the foreign companies of "swindling" and "smuggling" diamonds in Zimbabwe. In the interview the 92-year-old leader denied that the move would affect relations with China, a major investor in the sector.
The longest leader’s, claims comes after an announcement that the government will take control of all diamond mines. Mr Mugabe said that the country has not received much from the diamond industry at all and that only an estimate of $2bn (£1.4bn) from an estimated $15bn (£11bn) of revenues is what the country receives.
Mr Mugabe was pointed the role some Zimbabweans in the alleged theft, saying that those "expected to be our eyes and ears have not been able to see or hear what was going on".
Foreign mining companies can only operate in Zimbabwe as part of a joint-venture with local partners. Last month companies operating in the Marange diamond fields were ordered to stop working after their licences expired. Reports of abuse, including killings by the army, led to an international ban on diamond exports from Marange between 2009 and 2011.
The Zimbabwe was the world's eighth largest diamond exporter in 2014. Zimbabwe's economy has struggled since a government programme seized most white-owned farms in 2000, causing exports to tumble.