Accessibility links

Breaking News

Zimbabwe Parliament Drops Call for Mugabe to Answer Questions on Missing Diamond Revenues


(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 07, 2016 then Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe attends a meeting with the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association in Harare. A Zimbabwe parliament committee has summoned former president Robert Mugabe to give evidence on May 9, 2018 over diamond corruption costing billions of dollars, underlining his dramatic fall from power after 37 years of autocratic rule. / AFP PHOTO / Jekesai NJIKIZANA

Reuters Staff

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe’s parliament on Monday backed down from its demand for former president Robert Mugabe to answer questions related to diamond mining operations during his time in office.

In what would have been his first public appearance since being ousted in a de facto military coup in November, parliament had wanted to question Mugabe about his pronouncements that the state had been deprived of at least $15 billion in revenue by mining companies operating in the eastern Marange gem fields.

Mugabe had twice failed to appear before the mines committee of parliament and was given a final chance to do so on Monday, but the committee said in a statement it had now recused the 94-year-old former leader after consultations with the Speaker.

The committee did not give any more details.

A parliament official privy to the issue had told Reuters in May that it was unlikely Mugabe would appear before the committee because this was opposed by influential politicians in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ruling ZANU-PF party.

Mugabe said in March 2016 the country was robbed of wealth by diamond companies including joint ventures between Chinese companies and the army, police and intelligence services. He later expelled those firms last year and replaced them with a state-owned diamond company.

Facebook Forum

XS
SM
MD
LG