Zimbabwe launches diamond fraud investigation in lead up to election

Zimbabwe's incumbent ZANU-PF party has ordered police to launch an investigation into claims that five provincial leaders illegally took over a million dollars from various diamond mining companies.

Reuters reports Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe ordered the probe following accusations that members of the party had compelled two diamond mining firms to make donations of $750,000, which were subsequently used for personal ends.

Political analysts believe the crackdown on mining-related corruption is part of efforts to bolster the ruling party's image in the lead-up to elections which are slated for September this year.

According to Partnership Africa Canada, a group which opposes the traffic of "blood diamonds," around $2 billion in revenue from Zimbabawe's eastern Marange diamond fields had been stolen by individual's affiliated with the country's ruling party.