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Chindori-Chininga said Obert Mpofu is a crook and a thief

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.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 10HARARE42, FOLLOWU-UP TO FISHMONGERS’ UPDATE ON DIAMONDS

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

10HARARE42

2010-01-22 10:25

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO4955

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

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2541

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000042

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR BRIAN WALCH

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR MICHELLE GAVIN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/08/2020

TAGS: PREL PGOV ZI

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

mining profits.

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

operation.

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.

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

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.

RAY

(15 VIEWS)

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