The solution is simple. End the widespread and endemic corruption which has cost the country more than US$100 billion since independence, with alluvial diamonds worth an estimated US$23 billion vanishing.
Also stop gold smuggling, where the country is producing 100 tonnes of gold a year but only accounts for 30 tonnes, yet South African gold refineries say they buy 85 tonnes of gold every year from Zimbabwean sources.
All these figures are thrown around by economist Eddie Cross on his blog.
Below is the full blog.
Doing the right things for their own sake.
I was astonished at the reaction to the Minister of Finance’s leaked letter to the International Monetary Fund. At home there was widespread comment on the frank disclosure of policy failures and missteps and of the critical nature of the situation we face and our need for some support. In Washington the response was equally rapid and harsh – a friend in the system there, called me and said it was very concerning that there was absolutely no appetite for any sort of assistance to Zimbabwe, none.
If we did not know it before, we now know that we are on our own.
It’s largely our own fault. We have done virtually nothing about widespread and endemic corruption that is absorbing billions of dollars every year and has been going on for decades. If we stopped all the leakages, we would not need assistance, our critics say, and they are right. The scale of these leakages is stunning – Transparency International say US$100 billion since Independence in 1980, I was one of those who disclosed that US$23 billion or more had been extracted from the alluvial diamond discovery at Marange and simply vanished.
We know that our oil industry is fraught with corrupt activity. The last time international crude oil prices collapsed in 2014, prices plunged from US$137 per barrel to US$35 – yet prices in Zimbabwe did not fall, politicians and cartels skimming off the increased margin and banking it abroad. Again billions were involved. During the GNU this corruption was dealt with by the change of control in the Ministry and the appointment of an honest and capable Minister of Energy. What he did was not rocket science and it was achieved in days and without any State expenditure. Despite all our undertakings and the disclosure of widespread corruption in all parts of the oil industry – no one has been prosecuted. Do we know what is going on, yes! Do we do anything about it, no!
Continued next page