The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe, MMCZ says the country is losing a lot of revenue from gemstones through theft and smuggling by international syndicates.
MMCZ General Manager Tongai Muzonda said many miners are shunning mining gemstones, leaving the minerals and some metals to be exploited illegally.
“Gemstones from this country are being stolen. There is no secret about this and this is what we want to stop. There are many people who come from outside of Zimbabwe to buy at low prices and illegally export”, he said.
He says gemstones could overtake diamonds in revenue generation, with a proper management system in place.
“I think gemstones can overtake diamonds, if we do it properly and manage it properly especially if we go to the Hurungwe area. There are good gems, ruby, tourmaline -there is plenty. We must be able to change their livelihoods”, said Muzenda.
Zimbabwe is believed to have vast deposits of gemstones with an estimated value of US$20 billion.