Zimbabwe announces complete nationalization of country's diamonds

The Zimbabwe government has announced plans to implement total nationalization of the country's diamond industry.

According to Zimbabwe's The Standard, finance minister Tendai Biti said during a mid-term fiscal policy review last Wednesday that the government had approved a policy for enforcing 100% government ownership of diamonds.

Biti also announced the approval of the Diamond Exploration Act, which prohibits the export of unpolished or uncut diamonds.

Lending greater heft to the nationalization push is clause 10 of a new finance bill stating that officers of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority are now authorized by the Commissioner General to enter any Zimbabwean mining location at will to conduct inspections.

Zimbabwe is home to the Marange diamond fields, which are considered to be the world's largest diamond find in over a century.

Production in the Marange diamond fields has been a constant source of controversy of late, however, due to allegations of widespread human rights abuses.

According to the Standard, the nationalization effort is for the purpose of "plug(ging) leakages and ensur(ing) that the country benefits from its natural resources."

Biti complained publicly in May of this year about "small coteries" of individuals amassing obscene wealth from Zimbabwe's diamond trade while the national economy flounders.