Mugabe Sacks Top Official As Diamond Scandal Deepens

By John Chimunhu|
President Robert Mugabe has fired the permanent secretary in the mines ministry as a bribery scandal involving his top diamond official deepened.
Prince Mupazviriho was demoted to the environment ministry, according to a government statement Tuesday.
The former minister in the scandal-ridden ministry, Obert Mpofu has also been ditched after parliament, diamond researchers and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change accused him of pilfering diamond money and abusing his powers.
The mining ministry is at the centre of raging controversy after a Ghanaian businessman with personal ties to Mugabe accused Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) chairman Goodwills Masimirembwa of taking a $6 million bribe from him. The ZMDC is in charge of the state’s multi-billion dollar diamond joint ventures. Government sources said Mupazviriho would be required to give evidence against Masimirembwa, a senior Zanu PF official who Mugabe said should be prosecuted over the alleged scandal. News reports, however, said no formal police investigation had been launched.
A parliamentary report in June accused the mines ministry of causing the disappearance of $2 billion in diamond revenues.
Mugabe also demoted Perpetua Gumbo from his own office. He also fired Margaret Sangarwe from tourism after administrative chaos marred the UNWTO general assembly in Victoria Falls in August.
Other dropped permanent secretaries are: Desire Sibanda, David Mangota, Olivia Utete-Masango, David Munyoro, Lancaster Museka, George Mlilo, Tadious Chifamba and Elias Mutowo.


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