Zimbabwe parliament delays Mugabe’s questioning on diamond revenue

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HARARE, May 8 – Former President Robert Mugabe
will not appear before Zimbabwe’s parliament as scheduled on
Wednesday to answer questions on diamond mining operations, a
legislator said.

Temba Mliswa, who leads the parliamentary committee on
mines said the clerk of parliament hadn’t written to Mugabe to
invite him to appear.

“It has been delayed but that resolution still stands,”
Mliswa said. “He will have to appear before the committee
whether he likes it or not.”

The committee had ordered the 94-year-old Mugabe to face
legislators over his previous pronouncements that the state had
been deprived of at least $15 billion in diamond revenue by
mining companies.

Mugabe said in March 2016 the country was robbed of the
revenue by diamond companies, including joint ventures between
Chinese companies and the army, police and intelligence
services, whose operations were shielded from public scrutiny.

Specifically, he said Zimbabwe lost $15 billion from the
Marange gem fields, more than 400 kilometres (250 miles) east of
the capital. He later expelled the companies and replaced them
with a state-owned diamond company.

Mliswa said a new date for Mugabe to testify would be set.
The questioning on Wednesday would have been Mugabe’s first
public appearance since the army deposed him last November in a
de facto coup.

-(Reuters)