Although Zimbabwe has exported more than 700,000 carats of rough diamond since the start of this year as production levels at the controversial Marange diamond fields have risen, export and revenue figures declared do not tally, according to Finance Minister Tendai Biti.
Zimbabwe has exported 716,958 of diamonds this year, but the government has only seen $103.9 million from the sales, Biti told parliament in Harare while presenting his 2011-2012 budget review.
He said this was even more of a concern given the steep rise in prices of rough diamonds on international markets.
“Mr. Speaker Sir, it is worrying to note that there is no connection whatsoever between diamond exports made by Zimbabwe and the revenues realized thereof," Biti said.
He said that 18 percent of the diamonds mined from the Marange diamond fields were of gem quality, while 23 percent of diamonds mined from the Murowa diamond fields were industrial diamonds.
"We need to put in place proper mechanisms to monitor the movement of the diamonds from the point of mining, marketing, export and trade," he said in comments cited by the country's media
Biti also said that Zimbabwe needs to come up with a process of clearing international debt amounting to more than $7 billion, otherwise it would not be able to take advantage of funds set aside by the World Bank and the African Development Bank for Africa.