It is a shame for a country that is struggling to raise the living standards of its citizens to be caught up in a $15 billion scandal, which further cripples the failing economy.
President Robert Mugabe has confirmed allegations that the country has been losing millions of money through treacherous deals in Diamond fields.
He was speaking in a belated interview to mark his 92nd birthday celebrations on state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation. President Mugabe said that Treasury received less than $2 billion in diamond revenues despite earning over $15 billion.
The revelation has left many citizens with a bitter taste in their mouths as they possibly regret having re-elected him into leadership in 2013.
Mugabe has sworn that he will keep the seat until he is 100. His continued stay in office, however, will harm the country’s prospects of economic recovery, especially now that the country lost so much under his watch.
Although many critics held a notion that Mugabe may have exaggerated the figures at the Chiadzwa fields, several reports detail the looting of Zimbabwe’s diamonds. One report titled, ‘Reap What You Sow: Greed and Corruption in Zimbabwe Marange Diamond Fields’, produced by the Toronto-based pressure group, Partnership Africa Canada, in November 2012 says diamonds worth $2 billion were looted since 2008.
Regardless of the figures, Zimbabweans need to know where local funds disappeared to. Such monies would have been used to revamp the country’s water and sewerage systems, improve health care, develop road networks, invest in health research, clean energy among other development ventures. But no, the citizens have to stomach the deteriorating economy with youth unemployment levels surging every other day.
An article by The Southern Daily, argues that his revelation should have been made while the President tendered his resignation and apologized profusely to the millions of starving Zimbabweans who rely on donors for food and other basic needs.
The government of Mugabe is known for spending recklessly on useless projects. Take for example the monies used to fund his recent and past birthday celebrations.
In his 2016 birthday party, an estimated $800,000 was used to entertain his guests while thousands of Zimbabweans scavenged for little food to survive another day. In the previous year, his lavish party served exotic meat from an elephant among other expensive food samples to entertain the old leader whose wife is ready to wheel him around in his course of leadership.
It is sad that the Zimbabwean currency continues to bleed copiously. Even sadder is the fact that people endowed with power to protect the citizen’s interests have been sleeping on the job. Through president Mugabe’s appointees, evil in the form of loot has crept in affecting most critical national resources.
This should be a wake-up call for citizens to take the matter in their hands by fighting for their rights through taking part in the next elections and vote out the leader that has helped trample the economy.
Although the question that lingers in the minds of many people is: ‘where were the leaders while the diamonds were being looted?’ The real question, however, should be: “what do we do now that the government is not addressing our needs?’
Image credit: De Beers Group