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Whistleblower: Robert Mugabe to Answer on 'Diamond Looting'

Harare - Ousted president Robert Mugabe could make his first public appearance since November 2017, after parliament to summon the former l...

Harare - Ousted president Robert Mugabe could make his first public appearance since November 2017, after parliament to summon the former leader to appear for a hearing, as it seeks to conclude its probe into the alleged disappearance of $15 billion worth of diamonds from Marange diamond fields.

Mugabe was the whistleblower on the alleged looting of diamonds at Chiadzwa, alleging thet the country could have lost $15 billion through illicit siphoning of the minerals.

The chairperson of the committee, Temba Mliswa, said they had resolved to invite Mr Mugabe as they sought answers on what transpired.

“The committee had already resolved to invite him after we had heard the evidence and if our recommendations suit what the inquiry was about, there might be no need to call him because it’s up to the information that we require,” he said.

“I cannot pre-empt anything because we will be seeking what we are seeking regarding the $15 billion worth of diamonds which went missing.”
Former President Robert Mugabe

Mliswa declined to state when Mugabe was likely to appear before the committee, saying it would depend on the answers that they would get from officials invited so far.

“If we have the answers there might be no need. But we had resolved that he must attend. My point is that we are not witch-hunting, we are actually trying to get institutions to respond to the $15 billion leakage in terms of diamonds.

“When we have received all the evidence we will deliberate on it, but in terms of him coming we had resolved that we will invite everybody, especially him since he was the source.

Mliswa said Mugabe, as former president, would come last in the hearings.

He said the committee would be done with its hearings and recommendations in a fortnight. We will be doing recommendations as soon as we go back to the House (Parliament).  We will certainly be tabling our report and recommendations.”

Among the officials is Vice President Kembo Mohadi in his capacity as former State Security as well as Home Affairs minister, former Defence minister Dr Sydney Sekeramayi and former State Security and Presidential Affairs minister, Mr Didymus Mutasa, will appear before the committee.

Vice President Kembo Mohadi, who was the minister of Home Affairs at the time a concession was granted to police in 2012, did not attend the hearing as he had commitments elsewhere.

Minister of Home Affairs Obert Mpofu, who was the Minister of Mines at the time, recused himself from the hearings as he had written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda saying he was uncomfortable to do so as long as Mliswa was chairing the hearing.

Comm-General Godwin Matanga, former Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo and former Mines and Energy minister Walter Chidhakwa and officials from the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) have appeared before the committee in connection with the probe.

Mr Mliswa said the committee intends to leave no stone unturned in investigating the alleged diamonds looting at Chiadzwa and was keen to interview former Police Commissioner-General Dr Augustine Chihuri whose whereabouts remain unknown. - The Herald 

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