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Government Sets Probe Team to Investigate Former ZMDC Chief

ZMDC boss Goodwills Masimirembwa (ZMDC photo)
The government has set up a probe team to investigate former Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) chief Godwills Masimirembwa for allegedly demanding a bribe of more than $6 million from a Ghanaian firm which sought to invest in diamond mining in Manicaland province.

According to the state-controlled Herald newspaper, Mines Minister Walter Chidakwa told parliament on Wednesday that he has instructed the relevant authority to get as much information as possible on the issue.

Chidakwa, who was responding to a question in parliament from lawmaker Temba Mliswa of Zanu-PF, is quoted by the newspaper as saying the only setback is that the Ghanaian investor, William Ato Essien, has not yet filed a formal police complaint.

He noted that the Ministry of Mines is pursuing the case in order to bring it to its logical end as the Zanu-PF government will not tolerate any form of corruption.

The names of people in the probe team have not yet been made public.

Masimirembwa allegedly demanded a bribe from Gye Nyame, a Ghanaian firm headed by Essien, which sought to invest in diamond mining in Chiyadzwa, Manicaland province. The firm is reported to have started operations in 2011.

He was not reachable for comment as his mobile phone was not being answered.

President Robert Mugabe revealed recently that Masimirembwa was allegedly involved in the shady mining deal in which millions of dollars is said to have exchanged hands without following proper government investment procedures.

Government insiders say this is only a tip of the iceberg as the deal also involves some top state officials and security agents.