Investigation by Sunday Standard have turned up information pointing that a few big names in the corporate sector and some influential members of cabinet are behind the new diamond mining operation scheduled to start at Gope in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
The diamonds deposits at Gope formerly held by the Canadian exploration firm Falconbridge and De Beers have for a long time been a lightning rod of controversy.
Gope Exploration has recently been to Gem Diamonds which has since announced that it plans to start extracting diamonds from inside the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
As was to be expected, the announcement by Gem Diamonds has elicited a new round of controversy.
The London based Survival International, which has been unwavering in its resolve that diamonds were a real reason behind the removal of Basarwa from the Reserve, has announced that they have after all been absolved.
As a result, Survival International says they are resuming a fresh campaign against the Botswana government.
Survival International says they are also incensed by the fact that the Botswana government has failed to honour the High court judgment which favoured Basarwa.
The situation is now made worse by fresh information that big names in government are behind the new deal.
Sunday Standard has four names of individuals (some in cabinet, others in companies in which government is a shareholder) who have vested interests in the new operation in Gope.
Responding to enquiries by Sunday Standard on how Gem diamonds was favoured with the sale of Gope Exploration, De Beers Botswana released a tacitly return statement that the transfer of ownership came after a “select tender process.”
De Beers said the sale was endorsed and blessed by the Minister of Minerals Energy and water resources.
“The shareholders of Gope Exploration being De Beers and Falconbridge, sold the company through a select tender process. Following evaluation of the bids, the shareholders accepted the highest bid. In accordance with the laws of Botswana, the sale was approved by the Minister of Minerals, Energy and water Resources.”
De Beers referred Sunday Standard to Gem Diamonds about any enquires on shareholding.