29 May

Mugabe snubs parliament over $15m diamond probe, given last chance

Former Zimbabwe president Robert Gabriel Mugabe has snubbed the country’s parliament in respect of summons for him to appear before a committee investigating diamond revenue.

The lawmaker who chairs the parliament’s mines and energy committee said Mugabe was left with a last opportunity to appear before them to answer questions.

“We had written to the former President for the second time to come but he has failed and we are going to write him for the last time as required by the law,” MP Themba Mliswa said.

The probe referred to by the state-run Herald as the ‘Missing $15 billion hearing’ is seeking clarification from Mugabe on alleged loss of US$15 billion worth of diamonds revenue during his tenure in office.

The committee said it will issue a final summons to him to appear before it without fail on the 11th of June.

The first summons was slated for 23rd of May at 0900 hours – when he failed to appear as widely expected, MP Mliswa put it down to miscommunication, stating that his old age meant that asking him to appear in the morning was unfair.

Asked what parliament will do in the likely event that he refuses to show up, Mliswa said he would be invited up to three times after which the service of the police will be solicited to help bring him.

“The implications would be the police bring you,” Mr Mliswa told the BBC last week.

The second appearance date was scheduled for 28th of May (today) at 1400 hours (1300 GMT) but there was no sign of the former leader who ruled for over three decades till he was ousted in November 2016 in what is widely described as a de facto coup by the army.

The Herald reports that the committee has summoned several former ministers, sitting ministers, high ranking security officials and all those who were part of the diamonds mining operations with a view to getting to the bottom of the matter.

Source: http://www.africanews.com/2018/05/28/mugabe-snubs-parliament-over-15m-diamond-probe-given-last-chance/

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