Diamond Executives Raided

NOW DAILY INVESTIGATION

Government investigators last week swooped on suspended Marange Resources CEO Obert Dube’s private businesses in Zvishavane, on a hot trail for billions of dollars of state funds that have disappeared from Chiadzwa diamond joint ventures.

The investigators and auditors also raided an elite private school built in Zvishavane recently by suspended procurement executive Piri Mukono.

Workers at Vedette, a catering firm jointly owned by Dube and his wife in Zvishavane confirmed being interrogated by government officials and intelligence operatives about Dube’s sources of money.

Dube and Mukono were suspended indefinitely last week by Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa amid investigations to unravel the mystery of the disappearance of $2 billion from Marange diamond fields since 2010.

Mines ministry permanent secretary Dr Francis Gudyanga told a newspaper that auditors would probe reports that Dube and other executives were paying themselves and board members way above approved levels. Money from sales is also said to have gone missing through a sophisticated under-pricing racket allegedly benefitting some of the suspended executives.

Chief financial officer Wilfred Munemo has also been suspended, along with other heads of departments.

A Parliamentary portfolio committee investigation last year revealed that up to $2 billion in government revenue was missing from state joint ventures in Marange, including Marange Resources. Mbada Diamonds and Anjin, both of which are controlled by the military, police and intelligence services, are also set to be probed. President Robert Mugabe has already sacked the previous mines minister, Obert Mpofu over the scandal. Government has also dissolved the board of the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation and suspended general manager, Jerry Ndlovu.

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