US$15bn saga: Legislators warn Mugabe

THE Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy has warned it could summon former president Robert Mugabe to appear before it after he failed to pitch up for a hearing yesterday to give evidence on his claim that diamonds worth US$15 billion were looted in Chiadzwa.

Kudzai Kuwaza

The committee, chaired by Norton MP Temba Mliswa, wrote to Mugabe on Thursday last week, inviting him to present evidence yesterday on the missing diamonds.

Following his failure to show up, the committee resolved that Mugabe should appear before it on Monday at 2pm.

This is after Mugabe claimed in a birthday television interview in 2016 that diamonds in Chiadzwa worth US$15 billion could not be accounted for.

He, however, revealed in an interview with this paper in March that he had plucked the figure from air.

“The Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy is conducting an exhaustive inquiry on diamond mining in Zimbabwe,” the letter, which was read by Mliswa, stated.

“In this regard your excellency is kindly invited to appear before the committee on Wednesday the 23rd of May 2018 in the Senate chamber at 900hrs.”

The committee told Mugabe that he may have useful information that would enable it to complete its report.

Mliswa said after caucusing as a committee they have moved the hearing to Monday.

“The committee also is cognisant of the fact the 9 o’clock was a bit too early to ask the former president to be here,” Mliswa said.

“As you would also appreciate that when he was in office he would start cabinet at 12 O’clock.”

Mliswa said the committee expected Mugabe to cooperate, warning that it could resort to summoning him to appear before it.

“We do not expect not to get any cooperation from him.

Parliament has the power to summon anyone.

I do not think we would want to do that,” Mliswa said.

He also said that the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda will issue a ruling over the refusal by former Mines minister Obert Mpofu to give evidence to the committee in the presence of Mliswa.

The Mines and Energy committee chairperson also revealed that former police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri has made written submissions to the committee.

He added that Chihuri is ill but had promised to give evidence to the committee in person once he recuperates.

4 thoughts on “US$15bn saga: Legislators warn Mugabe”

  1. Wilbert Mukori says:

    Does the parliamentary committee have detailed line of inquiry they want to follow? In the past the committee has asked many people to appear before it but have failed to ask any substantive questions.

    The issue of the wholesale looting in Marange is a very serious matter but, to be blunt, nothing much will ever be uncovered because those tasked to do so are themselves utterly useless.

  2. Ngazvirehwe Sezvazviri says:

    Is this a case of trying to recover what was looted or it’s just a way of being seen to be trying to do something with no tangible results at the end of it all?So many cases abound of investigations that died a natural death.The worst problem with our government and legislators is to take us for gullible fools.Mliswa and company should stop wasting our time and meagre resources chasing the wind.

  3. Kufandada says:

    Where does Presidential Immunity begin and end.In terms of separation of powers,Mugabe can not be challenged by anyone about his actions or utterances during his Presidency.

  4. Mack daddy says:

    Kufandada you have a valid point there mate, for even if Mugabe says the diamonds are in my pocket there is virtually nothing to do because if I remember correctly the new head of state gave the guy immunity didn’t he. It is laughable that they are now trying to ask Mugabe these questions to complete the so called report but how so when they were there in power with him when this happened. do they not know what they did or the prospect of seeming to do something will somehow make us forget who they really are and what they did.

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