The Committee of the Peoples Charter (CPC) notes the recent statements made by the Minister of Mines, Mr. Obert Mpofu on the recent Kimberly Process meeting in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at which Zimbabwe was given the go-ahead to sell diamonds from Marange to world markets at competitive prices. The Honourable Minister’s announcement that Zimbabwe will be able to make an estimated gross amount of US$2 billion per annum from these diamond sales is a matter that should be further explained with particular respect to the national fiscus and the intended priorities as to how this revenue should be utilized for the public good.
This is particularly important and urgent due to the fact that the Ministry of Finance will present the 2012 national budget this month. It is therefore imperative that this potential revenue be factored into Finance Minister Tendai Biti’s budget for 2012.
In this regard, it is the CPC’s firm view that the revenue acquired by the state via the sale of diamonds must be directed toward the following priority areas of our national economy:
1.The establishment of a social welfare and social benefit grants system for unemployed citizens, women, physically challenged citizens, the elderly and socially/economically disadvantaged children/minors.
2.The reintroduction of free primary school education and the subsidization of all government secondary schools in relation
3.The re-introduction of state subsidized and guaranteed student grants and loans for all tertiary level students
4.The provision of free healthcare for all together with the modernization of all of our referral and provincial hospitals through the purchase of the relevant equipment
5.The refurbishment of our railway lines, trains and coaches to provide public transport for both rural and urban areas.
6.The completion of the dualisation of the Harare-Bulawayo; Harare-Beitbridge highways.
7.The provision of clean and safe water for all citizens through the refurbishment of all urban water supply systems and the expansion of borehole water availability in all rural areaS, together with the completion of the Matebeleland- Zambezi Water Project.
Where the government fails to commit diamond revenue to these six priority areas, it will be a travesty of social and economic justice. The CPC will be tracking the usage of this revenue with the intention of bringing the government to account and in order to curb corruption as well as the misplacement of priorities by the government.