Government Seeks Control over Zimbabwe Diamond Industry

April 28, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. monopolize / məˈnɒp əˌlaɪz / (v.) – to own or control something exclusively
Example: Jane’s family monopolizes the sugar industry in their town.

2. allegation / ˌæl ɪˈgeɪ ʃən / (n.) – a negative claim that usually has little or no proof
Example: Many politicians face allegations of corruption every year.

3. adhere to (something) / ædˈhɪər tu / (v.) – to follow or obey, especially a set of rules
Example: Business owners must make sure that they always adhere to their contracts to avoid problems.

4. stake / steɪk / (n.) – one’s share or portion in a business
Example: A foreign company will own a stake in the new mall.

5. breach / britʃ / (n.) – the act of violating something by not following certain rules
Example: Working for two rival companies at the same time is considered a breach of contract.


Read the text below.
The government of Zimbabwe seeks to monopolize the country’s diamond industry, following allegations of robbery against foreign mining companies.

President Robert Mugabe said in an interview with state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation that foreign companies mining diamonds in Zimbabwe’s reserves are robbing the country of its wealth, claiming that the government has received only $2 billion out of the $15 billion estimated revenues from the industry. He did not specify the period of time for the said revenue.

A week before President Mugabe’s statement, the government ordered all private mining companies to stop operations in the Marange diamond reserve because of expired licenses. The licenses of the companies will not be renewed if they refuse to adhere to a merger being proposed by the government.

The Zimbabwe government wants private companies to unite under a state-run company called the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Corporation (ZCDC). According to the Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidakwa, under the merger, the companies would have access to all diamond reserves in the country. However, private companies would be given only a 50% stake in ZCDC, which would further be divided among them based on company assets.

The proposition has been opposed by some of the mining companies operating in Marange. Director Ramzi Malik of the Diamond Mining Corporation has expressed apprehensions that private companies might have to cover the costs of developing new diamond mines despite having a very small share in the new company.

Meanwhile, as a response to their eviction from the Marange reserve, some companies have filed lawsuits against the government of Zimbabwe for alleged breach of contract.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If you owned a mining company, would you put it under the control of the ZCDC? Why or why not?
·         What can Zimbabwe do to prevent foreign investors from taking too much of their natural resources?

Discussion B

·         Why do some countries give foreign companies access to their resources?
·         What are the pros and cons of letting foreign companies access a country’s natural resources?

April 28, 2016