Mbada secures more Harare airport space

By Alex Bell
22 February 2013

Marange based diamond mining outfit, Mbada diamonds, has managed to secure more operating space at Harare International Airport, after building offices for the Civil Aviation Authority.

Mbada’s chairman, Robert Mhlanga, on Thursday officially handed over the premises built on the airport grounds and costing more than US$500,000. The buildings are reportedly going to be used as a training facility.

Transport Minister Goche announced at the handover that the buildings were built in return for a piece of land at the airport, which Mbada has requested to extend their operations there.

“My ministry had no reservations with granting Mbada Diamonds space at Harare International Airport to carry out its commercial activities,” said Minister Goche.

Mbada’s Mhlanga said the initiative was meant to ensure that diamonds that passed through the airport were well protected.

Mbada, whose activities remain under a cloud of suspicion, already has a diamond processing facility at the airport, where the bulk of their transactions are said to be made. This includes trading with unknown entities that have reportedly been trading with Mbada, despite a ban that was only lifted last year.

Concern has been raised that this extra space at the airport will further help keep Mbada’s activities secret, because it allows diamond buyers from across the world direct access to diamonds within a government protected space.

Political analyst Clifford Mashiri told SW Radio Africa on Friday that the secretive nature of Mbada’s diamond trading is cause for concern. He warned that, with elections around the corner, there is need for proper diamond legislation.

“We are concerned that they are trying to conceal their operations and to what end we don’t know yet. But we are worried because of concerns that diamond money is being used illicitly,” Mashiri warned.

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2 Responsesto “Mbada secures more Harare airport space”

  1. mike hondo says:

    lets hope mbada mines doesnt suffer the same fate as air zimbabwe did . looking on the bright side at least someone is using up all the free space left by air zimbabwe and if mbada mines gives some rent to air zim maybe they can pay off their debts .not having a direct flight with our own national air carrier is slowly strangling the country and really annoys potential visitors

    • Yepec says:

      Mbada diamonds is owned by the Chefs in Zanu PF or at least, the Chefs have some shares in it. The Company is private and its Chairman Robert Mhlanga who used to be a helicopter pilot for Robert Mugabe. He bought and turned a residential property into a multi-million dollar compound with an underground bunker in KwaZulu Natal.

      Why do you think that Robert Mhlanga needs such type of a property to protect him from what and in South Africa? What problems has he committed or anticipate such that he has to spend such amounts of money and, also, running away from Zimbabwe, the country he fought for its liberation from white, settler rule into what used to be the home of apartheid?

      Where did he get that much money, all of a sudden to build an underground bunkered property, is that for himself? This is interesting for a person who says that he struggled (fought) to see that Southern Rhodesia was liberated from white domination but is anticipating to flee from it? That is the Chairman for Mbada Diamonds, a Company that used to to be a rubbish and reclamation “mafikazolo” until Obert Mpofu chose it to be one of the companies mining diamonds at Chiadzwa, Marange in Manica Province.

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