‘Banda-Aid’ Controversy Raises Hackles at DDC

Diamond Dealers Club president Jacob Banda is at the center of a political storm after receiving a bonus for his work organizing the 2004 World Diamond Congress in New York. Banda was awarded $50,000 by the Club's board of directors out of gratitude for his hard work on the Congress after it turned an unexpected profit of $272,000. According to a club letter, Banda plans to give the money to charity, namely five religious schools. News of the bonus was first reported in Idex Online. DDC board members told JCK privately that the bonus was a sincere expression of thanks for Banda's efforts in organizing the Congress. They note that the Club saved a good deal of money by not hiring a professional group to organize things (although many felt it could have used one). But what's inflaming the issue is the fact that this is not the first time Banda has received a controversial payment.

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