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Summons for bigwigs over missing diamonds

By Auxilia Katongomara

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy has summoned a number of political bigwigs as it seeks to wrap up investigations into the alleged disappearance of $15 billion worth of diamonds from Chiadzwa.

Police chief Augustine Chihuri
Former Police chief Augustine Chihuri

The committee’s chairperson, Mr Temba Mliswa, said the summoning of current and former high ranking government officials does not mean that they are guilty, but is only part of investigations into the alleged looting of diamonds at Chiadzwa during ex-President Robert Mugabe’s rule.

In an interview yesterday, Mr Mliswa said those who will appear before the committee on Monday are Vice President Kembo Mohadi in his capacity as former State Security as well as Home Affairs Minister, former Defence Minister Dr Sydney Sekeramayi and former State Security and Presidential Affairs Minister, Mr Didymus Mutasa.

Commissioner General, Godwin Matanga, former Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo and former Mines and Energy Minister Walter Chidhakwa have already appeared before the committee in connection with the probe.

Mr Mliswa said they are working to conclude investigations and come up with recommendations.

“So we have asked for the former Minister of Home Affairs now Vice President Mohadi, former Minister State Security as well as Presidential Affairs Didymus Mutasa and the former Minister of Defence Sydney Sekeramayi. We are not saying that they are guilty but we would like to find out whether they knew about the concessions and who was running the concessions because all this information is very necessary,” said Mr Mliswa. “They have been summoned, they have received letters already and its done. VP Mohadi, Dr Sekeramayi and Didymus Mutasa have received their letters. They are definitely coming”.

He said all the interested parties including permanent secretaries and others would be there so that no-one passes the buck to the other.

Mr Mutasa yesterday said he had received his letter.“I have received my letter to attend on Monday and since I am being called by Parliament, I will attend,” he said.

Mr Mliswa said the committee intends to leave no stone unturned in investigating the alleged diamonds looting at Chiadzwa and was keen to interview former police Commissioner General Dr Augustine Chihuri whose whereabouts remain unknown.

“In terms of the whereabouts of Chihuri, the police Commissioner General has assured us that he will find him. It’s important that he comes before the committee to clear the air on diamonds. We will meet him on Monday,” said Mr Mliswa.

“So I’m sure that all is being done to ensure that everybody attends so that this issue about the $15 billion and leakage of diamonds and the under buying of diamonds is resolved once and for all by parties involved so that there cannot be finger pointing at anybody”.

Comm Gen Matanga appeared before the committee and said he was not aware that the police force had a mining concession at Chiadzwa diamond fields in Marange.

He told legislators that he had only read about it in the media and his predecessor, Dr Chihuri, was best placed to explain further.

However, on two occasions Dr Chihuri failed to appear before the committee with Comm Gen Matanga revealing that they had failed to locate him.

Dr Chihuri did not turn up for first hearing on March 16 when he was supposed to appear before the committee and again did not turn up on March 23.

Mr Mliswa ordered Comm Gen Matanga to leave no stone unturned in his search for his predecessor. The Chronicle