As you may know, the current financial meltdown in Zimbabwe is devastating their economy. Between the misguided American sanctions on particular individuals in Zimbabwe and the poor management and policies of the Zimbabwe government, the people of Zimbabwe are in desperate straits.
My friends in Zimbabwe are highly educated professionals. Yet, they are relying on friends and well-wishers to send money to them so they can eat. Companies and professionals who have been in business for years are going out of business at a rate never seen before. The domino effect is in full force and almost no one has any cash. People have no idea what to do. No one I have spoken with has much hope for any relief anytime soon.
Foreign investors will not open new companies when they are required to appoint a black Zimbabwean as the 51% owner of the company. Sanctions imposed by the United States and others to punish the Zimbabwe government, do little or nothing to the government, but have wiped out the wealth of the common person. Anti-American sentiment is not hard to find and this American is perplexed that our representatives (from both parties) have so little understanding of how things really work in Africa.
There is some good news. The Zimbabwe government became very aware of corruption within the diamond industry and mining sector and did a full sweep and cleaned house. Just about anyone with any opportunity to be corrupted was replaced. The two gentlemen who are now heading up the MMCZ are men of stellar reputation and I am told are incorruptible. My contacts at the MMCZ were ecstatic at their appointments and believe that the future of the MMCZ and the Zimbabwe diamond sector are in good hands.
For those who were turned off by the previous managers at the MMCZ, I recommend you give these new guys a chance. The Zimbabwe tenders will be conducted fairly and those who are accepted as customers of the MMCZ will be afforded every opportunity to buy Zim goods. One caveat, although the MMCZ is keeping a very close watch on the mines, there is bound to be some siphoning off of some of the better goods. However, with the new procedures, this will be very difficult and likely to be on a very small scale. The MMCZ will deny anyone can do this, but my experience in this tired old world is that there will always be someone who can game the system.