Former Mines Minister Edward Chindori-Chininga has described current minister Obert Mpofu as a crook and a thief.
According to a diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks Chindori-Chininga told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray on 21 January 2010 that Mpofu had entered into unlawful partnerships with Mbada and Canadile to mine diamonds in Marange.
Chindori-Chininga was chair of the Parliamentary Committee on mines at the time.
The ambassador also met Greg Sebborn an advisor of African Consolidated Resources who told him that Mbada was airlifting diamonds out of the country and had been stopped from auctioning 300 000 carats by Emmerson Mnangagwa who was acting Minister of Mines.
ACR was the legal owner of the Marange diamond claims at the time but this was reversed nine months later by Judge Charles Hungwe who had initially ruled in ACR’s favour.
Viewing cable 10HARARE42, FOLLOWU-UP TO FISHMONGERS’ UPDATE ON DIAMONDS
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSB #0042 0221025
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 221025Z JAN 10 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5325
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 3271
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3382
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1805
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2639
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 3009
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 0070
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0072
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2541
C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000042
AF/S FOR BRIAN WALCH
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR MICHELLE GAVIN
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/08/2020
SUBJECT: FOLLOWU-UP TO FISHMONGERS’ UPDATE ON DIAMONDS
REF: HARARE 36
Classified By: AMBASSADOR CHARLES A. RAY FOR REASONS 1.4 (b) and (d)
¶1. (SBU) Pol/Econ chief spoke separately on January 21 to
African Consolidated Resources (ACR) advisor Greg Sebborn and
ZANU-PF chair of the Parliamentary committee on mines and
energy Edward Chindori-Chininga as a follow-up to the
briefing of the Fishmonger Heads of Mission (Ref) on recent
developments in the Marange (Chiadzwa) diamond situation.
¶2. (C) With respect to the decision to halt the auction of
300,000 carats by Mbada (Ref), both Sebborn and
Chindori-Chininga said the decision had been made by Emmerson
Mnangagwa, who was acting Minister of Mines while the actual
minister, Obert Mpofu, was on leave. Sebborn speculated that
Mnangagwa, who is notorious for having profited from
Zimbabwe’s plundering of mineral resources in the Congo after
Zimbabwe’s incursion in 2008, acted either because he saw the
auction, in violation of GOZ procedures and the Kimberley
Process action plan, as a potential embarrassment to
Zimbabwe, or because he had not been getting a cut from
¶3. (C) Sebborn said MDC-T, which until now has largely
ignored the Marange situation, seemed to be taking an
increased interest. Minister of Finance Tendai Biti called
him earlier in the week to discuss Marange. An MDC-T lawyer
had spent considerable time with ACR discussing its legal
claims. And Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC-T
lawyer were planning to meet with Mnangagwa.
¶4. (C) Sebborn overflew the mining site recently and
provided us photos of an airstrip with control tower that is
being built. The airstrip is approximately 60 meters wide
and two kilometers long–adequate for a C130 transport-size
plane. According to Sebborn, Mbada is currently airlifting
diamonds from the site on a daily basis by helicopter which
is more than sufficient for diamonds. Equipment can be
brought in easily by road. Sebborn speculated that the strip
could be used to bring arms into Zimbabwe. Another photo
showed a military base in close proximity to the Mbada
¶5. (C) Chindori-Chininga said his committee had begun
hearings on Marange last year and received testimony from the
Ministry of Mines permanent secretary. The hearings will
resume when Parliament reconvenes and he expected to
eventually call Mpofu to testify. Chindori-Chininga said he
believed Mpofu, whom he characterized as a “crook” and a
“thief,” had unlawfully entered into partnerships with Mbada
and Canadile. He stated that MDC-T deputy minister of mines
Murisi Zwizwai, who he said was a friend of his, had been
seriously compromised by Mpofu.
¶6. (C) While it is encouraging that MDC-T is finally
becoming involved in the Marange situation, what is most
interesting is ZANU-PF’s involvement. There are important
elements of ZANU-PF, Mnangagwa and Chindori-Chininga among
them, who are dissatisfied with Mpofu, the Ministry of Mines,
and the Zimbabwe Mineral Development Corporation. It remains
to be seen whether they will force the issue. END COMMENT.
Qto be seen whether they will force the issue. END COMMENT.