Mudenda recuses Mugabe from appearing before parly committee

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Garikai Fadzi

HARARE – Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda has recused former President Robert Mugabe from appearing before the Parliamentary portfolio committee on Mines and Energy.

Mugabe was twice invited by the committee chaired by Norton Member of Parliament, Temba Mliswa, but he did not acknowledge receipt of the invitation and the committee was now moving to summon him with the aim of eventually charging him with contempt of parliament.

The former President was supposed to clarify his statements on the alleged missing $15 billion in diamond revenue, which he made in one of his annual birthday interviews.

According to the second committee report presented Thursday, Mugabe was recused from attending after consulting with the Speaker of Parliament.

“The former President His Excellency R.G Mugabe was unable to attend at the appointed hour and the Committee was due to meet to consider summoning him as a measure of last resort, but after consultations with the Speaker, he was recused from attending,” read part of the report.

More than thirty people, including former Mines ministers, Walter Chidhakwa and Dr Obert Mpofu, former Central Intelligence Organization Director General, Happyton Bonyongwe all appeared before the committee.

The committee recommended that Dr Obert Mpofu, who was Mines Minister from 2009 to 2013,a period under which the country’s diamond sector was at its peak be investigated.

“Investigation on Dr Obert Mpofu on directives of monies paid by MMCZ, Marange Resources and Canadilie Miners for legal services to Farai Mutamangira were not interrogated.”

The report added that prominent lawyer, Farai Mutamangira be investigated too.

“The Law Society of Zimbabwe, Auditor General, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission should investigate monies paid to Mutamangira for legal services that are not specified,” read part of the report.

Mutamangira is alleged to have received close to $1 million for a case another legal firm handled for services rendered to government.

The report established that from 2006 to 2017, the received country only 300 million dollars in mining royalties. This is contrary to revelations by Dr Mpofu in 2011 that the country was supposed to generate 2 billion dollars annually from diamonds.

“The committee was informed by the MMCZ that for the period 2006 to 2017, the country produced just over 51 million carats of diamonds, with a value of approximately 2,4 billion dollars. Out of that figure, government received approximately 300 million dollars in the form of royalties.”The report added, “This is in sharp contrast to the projections that were made by Dr Mpofu in 2011,after Zimbabwe was allowed to trade its diamonds formally, that on an annual basis the country would generate diamond revenues worth 2 billion dollars.”