By Zvamaida Murwira
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development yesterday summoned former President Robert Mugabe to appear before it on May 9 to explain a claim he made in February 2016 that the country could have been prejudiced of more than $15 billion in unrealised diamond revenue from Chiadzwa.
The committee also invi-ted former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru to explain reports linking her to diamond mining in the area.
Former Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, who was also expected to testify, has written to the committee to say he is unable to attend the hearings as he is receiving medical treatment outside the country.
In an interview yesterday, Norton MP Mr Temba Mliswa (Independent) said his committee resolved to call Mr Mugabe to explain how the leakages occurred or how he came about the figure.
“We met today as a committee and resolved that we invite former President Mr Mugabe to our committee to explain the disappearance of the $15 billion worth of diamonds,” he said. “We have set May 9 as the date on which he will give evidence.
“It is a resolution that we made long ago, but we first wanted to receive evidence from other State institutions to determine whether it is necessary or not to invite him. After gathering all evidence, it was the committee’s view that we call the former Head of State and Government. The committee has also resolved to invite Mai Mujuru.”
Mr Mliswa said the committee would reschedule Dr Chihuri’s hearing. “The former Commissioner-General of Police has written to Parliament to say he is not feeling well and that he is out of the country,” he said. “He expressed his readiness to come, so we will have to determine when he can come.”
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) allegedly partnered a private firm, Gye Nyame, to extract diamonds in Chiadzwa.
A fortnight ago, Dr Chihuri’s former deputies — Godwin Matanga, who is now ZRP Commissioner-General, and Deputy Commissioner-General Innocent Matibiri — told the committee that they were not aware that the law enforcement agency was extracting diamonds in Chiadzwa.
Former Home Affairs Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo and his former secretary, Mr Melusi Matshiya, told the same committee that they were also not aware that the police were involved in diamond mining.