Zim parliament drops call for Mugabe to answer questions on diamond mines

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s parliament on Monday backed down from its demand for former president Robert Mugabe to answer questions related to diamond mining operations during his time in office.

This would of been his first public appearance since being ousted in a de facto military coup in November. Parliament wanted Mugabe to answer questions  about his pronouncements that the state had been deprived of at least $15 billion in revenue by mining companies operating in the eastern Marange gem fields.

Parliament asked for Muagebe to appear twice before but he failed to appear before the mines committee of parliament and was given a final chance to do so on Monday.

However the committee said in a statement that they have now recused the 94-year-old former leader after consultations with the Speaker.

The committee did not give reasons as to why they decided this.

A parliament official close to the issue told Reuters last month that it was unlikely Mugabe would appear before the committee because influence Mugabe has on politicians with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ruling ZANU-PF party.

In March 2016 Mugabe said alleged that the country was robbed of wealth by diamond companies including joint ventures between Chinese companies and the army, police and intelligence services.

He would then expel those firms in 2016 and replaced them with a state-owned diamond company.

Photo Credit- Reuters

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