Mugabe scheduled to testify on $15 billion diamond saga on Wednesday

Former President Robert Mugabe is scheduled to give evidence on the “missing $15 billion” diamonds to the Mines and Energy Portfolio Committee on Wednesday, according to the schedule of portfolio and thematic committee meetings released by Parliament today.

The hearing which will be in the Senate chambers is, however, subject to confirmation.

Mugabe sparked the whole debate about the missing diamonds and the $15 billion two years ago but the government and experts have been at pains to explain that it is impossible for the country to have lost so much revenue.

Fact checking organisation, Zimfact, said Zimbabwe would have had to produce 40 million carats a year between 2009 and 2015 to lose that kind of revenue yet it produced only 50 million carats and earned just over $2.4 billion.

Defence Secretary, Martin Rushwaya told the committee chaired by Norton legislator Temba Mliswa that whoever gave Mugabe the figure of $15 billion had ulterior motives.

“When Mugabe announced the issue of the $15 billion, we said to our colleagues from the Mines Ministry that they must come up with an explanation and asked who gave Mugabe those figures but nobody came out,” Rushwaya said.

“Obviously, whoever gave the figures was someone mischievous and with an ulterior motive, maybe to justify consolidation of diamond mines in Chiadzwa because there was no scientific evidence that there are $15 billion worth of diamonds in Chiadzwa. It is difficult to reach $14 billion diamond output the world over in a year,” he said.