Former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe will be asked to explain how $15-billion in diamond revenues has gone missing. A parliamentary committee has been established to investigate alleged looting and, according to the committee’s chairperson, Mines and Energy committee head, Temba Mliswa, Mugabe will have to appear before the committee “whether he likes it or not”. It is believed that Mugabe, who is 94-years-old, is expected to appear before the Mines and Energy committee on Wednesday 16 May but according to a Reuters report, the clerk of parliament has yet to write to Mugabe, inviting him to appear before the committee. This has subsequently led to the hearing being postponed to a date that has yet to be confirmed. Mliswa said the resolution still stands, despite the postponement.
Lawmakers intend questioning Mugabe about his 2016 claim that Zimbabwe had lost $15 billion to corruption and foreign exploitation within the diamond sector. To date, the committee has already interviewed former ministers, police and intelligence chiefs as regards mining operations at the Chiadzwa gem fields in the east of the country where alluvial diamonds were found some 10 years ago.
Mugabe was president of Zimbabwe from 1980 until last year when what he describes as a military coup ousted him from power. Mugabe’s regime has faced previous claims that it siphoned off profits from diamonds. His regime has also faced accusations that security forces used brutal methods to control the diamond fields.