PILFERAGE of diamonds in Chiadzwa is being perpetrated by employees within the mining companies operating in the area, The Manica Post has established.
This comes as 31 Anjin Investments employees were fired last year alone, while four others were recently suspended pending investigations.
Investigations conducted by The Manica Post revealed that some unscrupulous employees are working in cahoots with diamond dealers to prejudice their employers of the precious gems.
The Manica Post also established that several diamond dealers, some of foreign origin but based in Mutare, recruit the employees in order to have easy access to the precious gems.
It is understood that well-orchestrated syndicates of employees working in the Density Medium Separator and the Corn Crusher departments of the mining plants are taking advantage of lapses in security concentration to steal diamonds that are then passed on to dealers at agreed prices.
In some cases, security officers are also part of the syndicates.
At Anjin Investments (Private) Limited, a total of 31 employees were relieved of their duties last year alone, while four are currently on suspension pending investigations into alleged pilferage of diamond pieces.
Anjin Investments public relations officer, Mr Special Matarirano confirmed this development.
“Our CCTV observed some irregular behaviour by four of our workers and the company’s policy is that any suspicious behaviour from employees who works in the red zone attracts an immediate suspension pending thorough investigations.
“Hence, those four employees were suspended pending investigations. The results of the investigations will guide the decision the company will take.
“Last year alone, a total of 31 employees were relieved of their duties by the company after being found on the wrong side of the code of conduct,” said Mr Matarirano.
He said the company is determined to weed out any bad apples within the diamond extraction process.
“In line with the security global trends, Anjin has, over the years, been strengthening its security. In this regard, the company has been installing and upgrading its integrated security systems.
“This has led to the integration of physical and technological security. As a company, we have also tightened up and sealed lapses in our security systems.
“The company is taking no prisoners in securing the product and the equipment,” said Mr Matarirano.
The other company carrying out mining operations in Chiadzwa, the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), could not readily divulge information relating to pilferage of diamonds through its employees.
Contacted for comment, the company’s public relations executive, Mr Sugar Chagonda referred all questions to the chief executive, Dr Mark Mabhudhu.
Unfortunately, Dr Mabhudhu was not able to comment as he highlighted that he was out on business.
However, this newspaper understands that a number of employees have also been relieved of their duties at ZCDC due to diamond pieces’ theft related cases.