Fresh charges stalk former Ministers

by Sunday News Online | Sunday, Jan 14, 2018 | 4402 views
Minister Mzembi

Minister Mzembi

Brian Chitemba, Harare Bureau
THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has opened fresh investigations into former Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa over diamonds that allegedly disappeared from Government vaults during his stint at the ministry.

Zacc investigators told our Harare Bureau that Chidhakwa will soon be interviewed on the precious stones which vanished in 2015.

Also likely to be quizzed are former Cabinet ministers Ignatius Chombo and Walter Mzembi on fresh charges of abuse of office and corruption.

The anti-graft body’s spokesperson, Ms Phyllis Chikundura, could neither confirm nor deny the development, saying she could only check the facts tomorrow.

“I am out of office, so I can’t check today but on Monday,” she said.

Government ordered diamond mining companies in Chiadzwa to cease operations in 2015 because of opaque dealings that could have prejudiced the country of millions of dollars.

Zacc suspects some diamonds that were kept in vaults at the time could have been stolen.

“(Mr) Chidhakwa should answer pertinent questions about diamonds which were stolen from the vaults. People are making noise about the so-called missing US$15 billion, but we have unearthed that some diamonds were stolen when mining operations were consolidated,” said a top Zacc investigator, who cannot be named for professional reasons.

The value of the stolen diamonds could not immediately be ascertained yesterday as investigators are still busy compiling the data.

Cde Walter Chidhakwa

Cde Walter Chidhakwa

The investigation comes after Chidhakwa was arrested weeks ago for criminal abuse of office.

It is alleged Chidhakwa corruptly dissolved the MMCZ board in December 2013 and appointed former permanent secretary in his ministry, Professor Francis Gudyanga, to act as the sole MMCZ board member until 2016. Prof Gudyanga later claimed US$28 910 in sitting fees when no board was in existence.

Zacc investigators also revealed that former Home Affairs Minister Chombo was also facing fresh charges of corruption and criminal abuse of office.

He is already on bail for criminal abuse of office, fraud and corruption.

Former Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Mzembi is also likely to be interviewed over alleged abuse of US$2 million from the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe.

Mzembi is also accused of diverting money donated by Mbada Diamonds for Zimbabwe to co-host the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly in 2013.

“The arrest of the three former ministers (Chidhakwa, Chombo and Mzembi) is imminent because investigations are at an advanced stage. We want to interview the former ministers in relation to various fresh criminal charges,” said an investigator.

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  • Zarura Zimbabgwe

    What about Obidza?

  • The Observer

    The issue of diamonds and the real looters has gained a lot of publicity with distorted information. It is clear that the evils of propaganda merely intend to misdirect the concerned society. A lot of players were involved including various government structures that purported to institute/offer security. Surely, can we be made to believe the much publicized distorted information…that the G40 stole ALL the diamonds and … others are the saints?

    • zibulo

      i believe the army went into marabge and beat and chased locals away, yet they are owners of the land. What development was done from the diamond proceeds in Manicaland ? Devolution Devolution, if ZANU is made to implemet this then communities will benefit from what they have and no fat cats in Hre will see even a cent. alll people in all provinces should be drying for DEVOLUTION OF POWER. POWER TO THE PROVINCES, POWER TO THE PEOPLE. This wont go down well with ZANU because in ZANU they worship an Individsual and give him Power , instead of Regions /People having the power.

  • Dumakude

    When are they arresting Obert Mpofu, the fattest and corruptiest minister from the Mgabe era…this is being done on factional lines hence it’s fake

  • succuba

    Obert Mpofu was minister of mines when the looting was at its highest, when is he to be arrested?

  • Fucknorris

    you can go ahead and arrest the whole G40 cabal but so long obert ZABG mpofu, Terrence Fuel pachitungwiza Mukhupe are walking scott free U will never c my x being placed on ZANU PF