Zim gives up on Mugabe summons to explain missing diamond billions - for now | Fin24
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Zim gives up on Mugabe summons to explain missing diamond billions - for now

Jun 13 2018 10:21
Crecey Kuyedzwa

Harare - The Zimbabwean Parliament has given up on bringing former president Robert Mugabe before the parliamentary portfolio committee on mines and energy to explain the alleged disappearance of diamonds worth $15bn under his administration. 

Appearing before Parliament, committee chairperson Temba Mliswa said the former president, who absconded the hearing twice, has been recused from attending following consultations with the speaker of parliament.

“The former president (Robert Mugabe) was unable to attend at the appointed hour and the committee was due to meet to consider summoning him as a measure of last resort but after consultations with the Honourable Speaker, he was recused from attending,” said Mliswa while presenting a committee report in the National Assembly.
However, he said the non-appearance by Mugabe to answer questions on the missing $15bn from diamond revenue heightens the perception that he may have been complicit on the issue.

The committee recommended that the next parliamentary sitting, which will come after Zimbabwe’s harmonised elections on July 30, 2018, should still summon Mugabe to explain himself.

Mugabe was the first to make a public claim that the country has lost $15bn through illegal dealings.

“We have not received much from the diamond industry at all. I don’t think we have exceeded $2bn, yet we think more than $15bn has been earned,” Mugabe said in 2016.

Government however did not do much to probe the missing billions and bring those involved to book.

Of late, Parliament has been investigating people and companies involved in diamond mining as it seeks to establish whether $15bn had in fact been siphoned from government funds.

High-ranking officials in the Mugabe government, including ministers, have since been brought before parliament to provide evidence on whether the country really lost the billions.

However, nothing much has emerged to give an indication of how much exactly was lost, except for revelations that the industry’s activities were conducted in secrecy and contributed little to treasury.

robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  mining  |  diamonds


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