Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
THE forensic audit into the loss of $15 billion in diamond revenues is still work in progress as the Auditor-General Mrs Mildred Chiri is working on it, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Government launched a forensic audit last year after President Mugabe had noted that the country had not received meaningful returns from Chiadzwa diamond fields raising suspicions that private companies mining there could have prejudiced the State.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa told Parliament on Wednesday that the forensic audit was not yet complete.
The Minister was responding to Kuwadzana East MP Mr Nelson Chamisa who had asked why the probe was taking long.
“The issue of the $15 billion is work that is being done by the Auditor-General. The Auditor-General and the companies that have been appointed have not yet told us what the outcome of the investigations was.
“Therefore, it is not yet time for me to bring to this House a report on the $15 billion and I entreat the House to be patient. I think from the Auditor-General’s perspective and her team of people working, it is a matter of great detail,” said Minister Chidhakwa.
The Minister said the audit was a thorough process and what was being done must be unquestionable at law
“The Auditor-General could be sued for presenting information that is improper. The investigation process must therefore be unassailable.
“The companies that have been given work to do in relation with the $15 billion would also want to do their work in a perfect manner,” he said.
On the missing diamonds funds, the President said less than $2 billion was remitted from diamond proceeds and those seconded by Government to work with private miners had failed to account for the gems.