Mugabe’s missing $15 billion saga intensifies

Charamba George
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JOHANNESBURG – Zimbabwean opposition parties have welcomed a call by Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa for all persons who under Mugabe’s rule, externalised money to return the said monies within three months.

Mnangagwa has set the amnesty deadline line toFebruary for the return the ill-gotten wealth with the promise prosecution post deadline.

Former Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe previously revealed that the country had “lost” an amount of USD $15 billion in diamond mining revenue. The missing money is believed to have been externalised and squandered by government officials with the aid of dodgy investors.

Opposition parties have called on the President to leave “no stone unturned” in accounting for the missing $15 billion worth of diamonds disappearing from mining claims.

Last year, Zimbabwean reserve bank governor, John Mangudya said that USD $1.8 billion was externalised in 2015 and of that amount, $1.2 was funnled out by corporates

However, in an interview with the Harare Bureau last week, Presidential Press Secretary Mr George Charamba said that the Zimbabwean media had failed to comprehend that former President had used that figure as a metaphor to express the magnitude of his anger at the opaque nature of operations at the Chiadzwa diamond fields.
“As a matter of fact I sat in the briefing and I said to the former President, sir, where did you get the 15 billion figure? His response was ‘I just said out of the blue to stress my point because I was angry’. That’s what he told me and I am prepared to repeat it on record. It was a metaphor to indicate his outrage,” Charamba said.
Charamba said it is illogical to assume that US$15 billion could have been siphoned from the diamond mining sector as the country was yet to produce diamonds of that value
Zimbabwean opposition parties don’t seem to share Charamba’s views on the matter and have repeatedly called for Mnangagwa to launch an investigation into the missing money, calling for an audit into the country’s diamond and mineral revenue.