Missing $15bn diamond revenue: Zim parliament 'to question Mugabe from his Harare mansion'

2018-05-22 08:37
FILE: Robert Mugabe in 2016. (Jekesai Njikizana, AFP)

FILE: Robert Mugabe in 2016. (Jekesai Njikizana, AFP)

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A Zimbabwean parliamentary portfolio committee that is investigating the looting and loss of diamond revenue amounting to $15 billion, has reportedly "resolved to meet former president Robert Mugabe at his private home instead of dragging him to parliament" for questioning.

Mugabe, 94, who is in frail health, was called to give evidence last month but the meeting was postponed.

Lawmakers planned to question Mugabe over his 2016 claim that the country had lost $15 billion in revenue due to corruption and foreign exploitation in the diamond sector.

A NewsDay report said on Monday that the committee had since indicated that it would meet the veteran politician at his Blue Roof mansion in Borrowdale, Harare on Wednesday. 

The chairperson of the committee, Temba Mliswa, said that the meeting was not meant to grill or humiliate Mugabe, but it was fact-finding mission to break the puzzle over the missing diamond revenue.

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Mliswa said that it was now up to parliament to organise the meeting with the nonagenarian, as his evidence was critical in assisting the committee to conclude its report.

"It is now up to the Parliament administration to get communication to Mugabe because his evidence will be critical in terms of us concluding our report. We need to do that before parliament is dissolved for the 2018 general elections.

"As a committee, we can go to Mugabe's house to meet him there to respect his age," Mliswa was quoted as saying.

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

Zimbabwe discovered alluvial diamonds in Chiadzwa, in the east of the country, over 10 years ago, and rights groups have accused security forces of using brutal methods to control the scattered deposits.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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