Mugabe had previously commented that “there are huge prospects for the diamond sub-sector to emerge as a major driver of the country’s economic turnaround”, and has recently stressed that the greed of individual politicians must not play out.
“Diamonds should not be pocketed by some individuals,” Mugabe said. “They should help to improve the whole country. Those with an appetite for individual aggrandisement, please blunt your appetite. We will ensure there is collective benefit and not individual benefit.
“Leaders must be people-oriented. It is the demands of the people that must be looked at and not those of our pockets,” he added.
Last month, the diamond watchdog Kimberley Process approved the export of rough diamonds from the Marange diamond fields in Eastern Zimbabwe.
Exports from Zimbabwe were banned by the Kimberley Process following allegations that security forces at Marange had committed atrocities.
In response to the sanctions, Mugabe said: “We have sent an inclusive delegation to the European Union to seek the removal of the sanctions. The delegation came back empty-handed.
“Sanctions must go. They are hurting our people regardless of political affiliation. We are still treated as if we do not own our country, as if Zimbabwe is owned by Europe cum America.”
Edited by Chris Farnell