PRESIDENT MASISI SPEAKS ON BOTSWANA -DE BEERS RELATIONS
“Your herdman cannot claim ownership or greater benefit from your cattle.”
(Mmadinare, 25 May 2023)
“We’ve learnt a lot from our relationship with De Beers, including the fact that we lose $15billion every year for selling our diamonds raw without beneficiation.
We are a major global diamond producer, both in terms of value and quantity. We should therefore benefit more. Our benefit from the potential $ 15bn is at most $8billion.
Further beneficiation of our diamonds into gems and jewellery is worth $100bn. Where is our benefit from there?
Clearly our agreement with De Beers is very limiting for us; and we must either get a better deal or walk away completely. We must refuse to be enslaved.
Your herdman cannot claim ownership or greater benefit from your cattle.
According to the agreement, our differences should be resolved under British Law.
We signed out of ignorance because we were a new economy.
But we will soldier on. We can decide to surrender and settle for bread crumbs; or fight to the bitter end.
Even if we lose the dispute under British legislation, our diamonds will remain ours and we will never back down.
I am not a coward and I refuse to allow Batswana to be robbed on the basis of an agreement that we entered into because we didn’t know any better.
If this issue costs me electoral victory, then so be it.