Armed Zim police 'looted diamonds worth millions of dollars': Diamond firm

2018-03-21 17:26


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Harare – A Zimbabwean diamond firm which was fingered by President Emmerson Mnangagwa for externalising millions of dollars has accused police of looting diamonds worth millions at its Marange diamond fields in 2016, Daily News reported.

Mbada diamond was one of the hundreds of companies which were named by Mnangagwa to have externalised funds during ex-president Robert Mugabe's reign.

An AFP report said that Mbada Diamonds was accused of looting at least $14.7m.

During a parliamentary mines and energy committee session this week, Grandwell Holdings' chairperson David Kassel - a company which owned 50% stake in Mbada diamonds - said that at least 200 police officers in mafia style stormed their offices in 2016 and looted gems worth millions while also vandalising television monitors and equipment.

The Daily News quoted Kassel as saying that the raid happened as then president Mugabe’s government prepared to take full control of mining in the diamond rich Chiadzwa area through the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC).

At the time, Zimbabwean authorities had not renewed the mining licences of private firms which were extracting the diamonds in the area.

"Police arrived at the mine armed, abused our people, ransacked the place, operated like cowboys, broke our company safes, destroyed our equipment, broke our fence and all cellphones were taken into a room like they were criminals. They broke our safes, took our diamonds," Kassel was quoted as saying.

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This came amid reports that the recently appointed police boss, Godwin Matanga, told a parliamentary committee which was investigating the looting of diamonds valued at $15bn that he was not aware that the force had a mining concession at Chiadzwa diamond fields in Marange.

According to the state owned Herald newspaper, giving evidence in parliament last week, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) commissioner said his predecessor General Augustine Chihuri was the best person to explain further.

“It is difficult for me to give information, I do not know. Maybe if my former boss was around he would be able to give information,” Matanga was quoted as saying.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  emmerson mnangagwa  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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