$15bn diamond loot: Zim parliament 'sets Mugabe off the hook'

2018-06-12 08:30
Robert Mugabe. (Themba Hadebe, AP)

Robert Mugabe. (Themba Hadebe, AP)

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Former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe will not appear before a Mines and Energy Parliamentary Committee investigating the looting and loss of diamond revenue amounting to $15 billion, the head of the committee, Temba Mliswa has said.

Mugabe had been expected to appear before the committee after he told state media in 2016 during an interview to mark his birthday that Zimbabwe had lost over $15 billion in gem revenues through corrupt cartels that he did not name.

According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, the nonagenarian had been given an ultimatum by the committee to attend the hearing on Monday after he twice failed to appear before the committee.

The committee had already interviewed former ministers, police and intelligence chiefs to answer on diamond mining operations at the vast Chiadzwa gem fields.

The committee said in a statement it had now "recused the 94-year-old former leader after consultations with the Speaker", said a New Zimbabwe.com report.

"The former President, His Excellency Cde RG 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 was quoted as saying in a statement.

No further details were given.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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