President Robert Mugabe says the ongoing legal battle with previous miners has negatively affected diamond production, adding that the decision to consolidate operations was a result of comprehensive studies.

Zimbabwe’s diamond sector promised much but gave little, leaving many wondering if the diamond reserves are just another story of resource curse.

The country failed to achieve the targeted 6 million carats output in 2016, owing to a number of operational challenges.

In the traditional birthday interview with the ZBC News, President Mugabe maintained that the country was deprived of a significant amount in potential revenue due to lack of accountability, but expressed confidence that the conclusion of the legal battle with previous miners will see improved diamond production.

He said it was unfortunate that the previous miners declined government’s invitation to form part of the consolidated diamond company.

Going forward, President Mugabe said focus is now on capacitating the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) to ensure that it enhances production.

In the 2016 state of mining industry survey report, the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines indicated that diamond output declined by 40% from 3.3 million carats in 2015 to 2 million carats in 2016.