The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy headed by Norton legislator Temba Mliswa today backed down on calling former President Robert Mugabe to testify in the “$15 billion missing diamonds” hearing.
Mugabe claimed in 2016 that the country had lost $15 billion worth of diamonds.
He told the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation: “We have not received much from the diamond industry at all. Not much by way of earnings. I don’t think we have exceeded $2 billion or so and yet we think that well over 15 or more billion dollars have been earned in that area. So where have our carats been going? The gems.”
Reports have since proved that there is no way Zimbabwe could have lost diamonds worth that much but the country has, at the same time, not benefitted from the diamonds which were once dubbed the biggest find of the century.
The Parliamentary committee initially asked Mugabe to testify at 9am on 23 May but he did not turn up.
Mliswa asked Mugabe to come on 28 May at 2pm saying 9am was too early for the 94-year-old but once again he did not turn up.
Mliswa said Mugabe had been given up to today, to testify but the committee today said in a statement that it had now recused Mugabe after consultations with the Speaker of Parliament.
Questions have been raised about whether Mugabe was merely being stubborn or someone did not want him to testify as this could open a can of worms.