News / Africa

    Zimbabwe's Mugabe Speaks Out on Diamond Sales

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe says windfall revenues from recently approved diamond sales must benefit the whole country and not just a few individuals.  Speaking at the funeral of his sister, he also lashed out at Western governments for refusing to lift sanctions against senior officials.

    President Mugabe urged what he called greedy people to curb their drive for self-enrichment and ensure that revenues from an upcoming sale of Zimbabwean diamonds benefit the entire country.

    The Zimbabwean leader was speaking to several-thousand mourners at the funeral of his younger sister, Sabina, who died last week after a lengthy illness.

    The diamond control body, the Kimberley Process, recently approved the sale of some rough diamonds from fields in eastern Zimbabwe.

    Human-rights groups opposed the sale saying members of the military and Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party had committed human rights abuses there and were smuggling some of the diamonds for their personal gain.

    The Zimbabwean government says it has mined nearly $175 million worth of the precious stones in the past seven years.  It hopes their sale will boost an 18-month-old economic turn-around.

    Mr. Mugabe criticized Western governments for failing to support the recovery and not ending sanctions against senior ZANU-PF leaders.

    "Sanctions must go.  They are hurting our people, regardless of political affiliation," he said.  "We just had our inclusive delegation paying a visit to Europe to seek the removal of sanctions, and the delegation came back empty handed."

    Western governments 10 years ago imposed travel, banking and business bans on more than 100 senior Zimbabwean leaders and dozens of state-owned companies because of human-rights abuses.

    Mr. Mugabe says they are an attempt by former colonial powers to control his country.

    "They [Western governments] think they can then dictate, 'Do a, b and c, remove so and so,' and of course it is Mugabe first who must go, according to them, and then 'we will relate with you,'" he said.  "To hell with them."

    The president's campaign against the sanctions is supported by former opposition leader and now Prime Minster Morgan Tsvangirai who joined Mr. Mugabe in a power sharing government last year.

    The unity government succeeded in reversing years of hyper-inflation and economic decline, but has not been able to attract the foreign investment needed to boost employment and government revenues.

    Mr. Mugabe's supporters blame Western imperialism, but his critics say policies such as a proposal to require large companies to transfer 51 percent ownership to black Zimbabweans discourage new foreign investment.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora