President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the government will finalise Zimbabwe’s diamond policy by August.

The President was speaking at the handover of a US$5 million cheque to the Zimunya-Marange Community Share Ownership Trust at Munhumutapa offices in Harare today.

After years of suffering the resource curse, the Marange community finally received justice following the resuscitation of the community share ownership trust by the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) with the handing over of the cheque to the beneficiaries this Monday.

The government has been working on a law to ensure that Zimbabwe derives maximum benefits from its minerals.

This saw government liberalising the indigenisation law which previously stuck to 51/49 percent ownership in mining ventures but now partners are free to agree on the ownership ratios except in the platinum and diamonds industries where government is working to craft a new policy.

The Zimbabwe Diamond Policy is aimed at ensuring optimisation of the diamond sub-sector through implementation of appropriate strategies throughout the entire value chain from exploration, mining beneficiation, value addition and marketing of the precious gems.

It also seeks among other things to create a viable operating environment that attracts foreign and local investment in the diamond industry in line with the new dispensation’ s vision of achieving increased investment by 2030.

In his speech at the handover of the cheque, President Mnangagwa commended the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development through the ZCDC for giving the community share ownership trust project new impetus to contribute towards the sustainable economic development of the Marange and Zimunya communities.

The trust is involved in projects such as upgrading local clinics, road rehabilitation, construction of bridges, borehole drilling, renovation of some primary schools as well as the establishment of state-of-the-art computer science laboratory and providing bursaries to orphans and disabled children from the communities and tillage assistance programme to enhance food security and nutrition.

The President called on other companies through multifaceted strategies to intensify community development programmes so that communities benefit from natural resources in their areas.

The handover ceremony was attended by Vice President Retired General Constantino Chiwenga, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo on behalf of the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Cde Winston Chitando, Ministers Cde Patrick Chinamasa, Cde Monica Mutsvangwa, Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Cde Misheck Sibanda, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development Cde Munesu Munodawafa and chiefs from the area.