obert mpofu 07-02-11.jpgFinance Minister Tendai Biti’s recent denial of having received proceeds from diamond sales has been described as a deliberate fabrication meant to distract citizens from current government efforts in ensuring that locals get maximum beneficiation from the precious stones.

Contrary to recent media reports quoting Mr Biti distancing himself from proceeds of diamond sales, it has since emerged that the Finance Minister was on a deliberate ploy to misrepresent facts given substantial evidence indicating that treasury received substantial funds from diamond proceeds.

ZBC news has it on good grounds that contrary to his words, Minister Biti sent a correspondence to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development acknowledging having received substantial funds during the just ended 2010 financial year.

Mines and Mining Development Minister, Cde Obert Mpofu expressed astonishment at the comments by Mr Biti.

“Despite misinforming the citizens, the comments are a calculated bid to thwart efforts to improve the welfare of the country’s citizens,” Cde Mpofu said.
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Minister Mpofu stressed government’s commitment in ensuring that proceeds from the precious stones are used to raise civil servants salaries.

Recently, the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe assured civil servants that government will prioritise their welfare in the disbursement of proceeds from diamond sales.

It is believed that treasury has to date received over US$150 million from diamond sales from 3 auctions made by the diamond mining firms.