The government of dictator Robert Mugabe says it has launched investigations into the ‘stolen’ $15 billion Marange diamond money amid calls for the administration to resign over the scandal.
Mugabe admitted during a televised address that the government could not account for an unknown amount of diamonds, which he estimated at $15 billion.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) led by former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai has called on Mugabe to resign over the matter.
MDC-T national secretary for domestic affairs and Midlands senator Lilian Timveos confronted finance minister Patrick Chinamasa in the senate over the scam.
“My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Chinamasa. Minister, may you please tell us about the US$15billion that the President said just disappeared in Chiadzwa. How did the money disappear since you are the Minister of Finance?” Timveos said.
“The Mines and Mining Development, Hon. Chidhakwa said he was going to try and see how this money disappeared. He will present a report upon conclusion of investigations. He promised to table a report to the august Senate on this matter,” Chinamasa said.
However, Chidhakwa is notorious for breaking promises to update parliament on the theft of diamonds in Marange. He promised to present one such report on the closure of the state-owned Marange Resources and the sacking of the board and management led by Obert Dube, but never did. However, Chinamasa said government was serious about ending corruption in the Marange fields.
“The reason why we got involved in the Chiadzwa issue was because things were not moving well, that is why we took the steps that we took. Going forward, I would like to promise Hon. Senators that we do not expect what happened yesterday to recur. As you are aware, there is only one company run by the Government that is mining diamonds. They have already started and we are happy about what is being done. At the moment, we are at the stage where we receive reports on a daily basis. They inform us of how many carats they would have got on a daily basis. I believe that what you have asked will never happen again because the matter has been rectified. As I have already said, it takes time for people to come to an agreement. There have been some disagreements and squabbles in as far as the mining of diamonds is concerned. It is not that the $15 billion is the amount but we still have to investigate to see how much it was and who took it.”
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