Govt moves to plug diamond looting

…Seconds two top state security agents to head ZCDC security

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TINASHE MAKICHI

Government has seconded two security personnel to the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) as it moves to halt a spate of thefts at the State-owned diamond producer, Business Times heard this week.

The duo, top police chief Charles Mvere and a military chief only identified as Manyau, boast of vast experience in security issues, according to insiders.

The security rejig at the diamond producer comes after a movie style robbery occurred at Chiadzwa where security was breached and robbers entered the diamond pits. Although the culprits were later arrested, the breach put focus on to the security of the operations considering that it was not the first time robbers had attempted to take off with the valuable mineral.   In January, the State-owned diamond producer suspended 40 employees in an intense crackdown meant to halt rampant diamond theft.

ZCDC acting chief executive Roberto Depretto confirmed the secondment of the duo.

“Yes its true we appointed two security guys and one is coming as a security executive while the other one is coming to a manager’s position. They are coming on a six months-secondment basis,” Depretto said.

The recent secondment comes after Russian diamond miner Alrosa entered into a joint venture agreement with ZCDC to develop diamond deposits.

Alrosa will hold a 70 percent stake for the development of greenfield projects with the remainder owned by ZCDC.

The joint venture will be able to work not only with the licences already held by ZCDC. Should a new prospective area be discovered, ZCDC will contact the Zimbabwe Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to request a licence for the new area.

The signing of the joint venture will also entail the finalisation on the appointment of a substantive head following the dismissal in May of CEO Moris Mpofu alongside six other executives in a move meant to refocus the business in line with prevailing operating environment and the “need to rebuild public and market confidence”.

Other executives shown the exit door were Charles Gambe (chief finance officer), Newton Demba (supply chain executive), Masciline Chikoore (chief human resources executive), Clemence Munoriyarwa (chief security officer), Andrew Murwisi (engineering executive) and audit executive Cleopatra Mutisi.

Mpofu and Gambe were arrested on abuse of office charges. Their case is awaiting trial.