Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.
HARARE - Zimbabwe's President has said his nation will sell its massive reserves of diamonds despite not receiving authorisation from the world's diamond control body.
A defiant President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday told lawmakers diamond sales have "huge potential" to revive the shattered economy.
The Kimberley Process diamond certification scheme has not authorised international sales amid allegations of killings, human rights violations and corruption in the massive diamond fields discovered in eastern Zimbabwe in 2006.
Criticism by Western nations and human rights groups deadlocked a Kimberley Process meeting in Israel last month that sought approval for the sales after a regional monitor of the control body reported Zimbabwe had met minimum international diamond mining standards.
Mugabe said Zimbabwe's Western adversaries wanted "absurd" conditions put in place to block the diamond sales.
"We have to remain rooted in the reality we are the sole guarantors of our economic emancipation," he said.
Critics of Mugabe say his economic policies have contributed to precipitous economic decline in a decade of political turmoil that included the often violent seizures of thousands of white-owned farms that disrupted the agriculture-based economy.
Mugabe acknowledged on Tuesday that key infrastructure - including power and water utilities, roads and transport services - had fallen into disrepair and housing programmes had come to a standstill over the past decade.
Mining experts estimate that Zimbabwe's diamond fields, sealed off by police and troops in the districts of Marange and Chiadzwa near the eastern city of Mutare, are likely the biggest deposits found in Africa since the Kimberley fields were discovered in neighboring South Africa a century ago.
The mines ministry says it already has about $1,7billion (about R12,8billion) of diamonds in storage ready to be sold. Zimbabwe's total international debt is estimated at about $5,5billion (about R41,5billion).
Consignments of diamonds have been sold illegally.
Earlier this year one shipment was detected in Dubai and police in neighboring Mozambique reported arresting alleged diamond dealers carrying more than $1million (about R7,5million) in cash hidden in their car near Zimbabwe's porous eastern border. - Sapa-AP