Harare – Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party lawmaker has reportedly urged parliament to investigate claims that Chinese businessmen who own farms in the country have been plundering the country's mineral resources.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, the Uzumba lawmaker Simbaneuta Mudarikwa alleged that Zimbabwe was losing significant amount of revenue due to "the illicit mining of natural resources by Chinese farm owners".
Speaking in the National Assembly, Mudarikwa said that although the Chinese farm owners were farming on a large scale in the country, this was one of their ways of disguising illegal mining of the country's natural resources.
"They Chinese do the farming, of course, but there is illegal mining going on within those farms. One would like to know where the gold and platinum is going when people move in on ten year leases pretending that they are there to farm. These Chinese are very good in saying that you must not trespass into the area where they are farming," Mudarikwa was quoted as saying.
In February, President Robert Mugabe, 92, revealed that diamonds worth more than $15bn were looted in the eastern mining area of Marange.
Mugabe said at the time that the state treasury received less than $2bn, according to reports.
Mugabe's revelation prompted the country's opposition parties to call for a thorough investigation into the disappearance of the diamonds.