Thursday, February 22, 2018

Obert Mpofu faces Parly grilling over missing $15 billion

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HOME Affairs minister Obert Mpofu will today appear before the Temba Mliswa-led Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines to give his side of the story over the $15 billion missing diamond revenue, which went unaccounted for during his tenure as Mines minister.

A notice from Parliament shows that Mpofu will give oral evidence before the committee soon after a similar presentation by Harare businessman, Lovemore Kurotwi.

The meeting promises to be explosive after Kurotwi recently wrote to President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, accusing Mpofu of forcing him out of Chiadzwa diamond fields after refusing to pay a $10 million bribe.

Kurotwi said his company, Canadile Miners, lost close to $20 million in cash, equipment and diamonds.

Mliswa told NewsDay that several bigwigs, among them ministers and former President Robert Mugabe, will be grilled over the missing $15 billion.

"There are no sacred cows in terms of the oversight role of Parliament, and there is nothing that even stops us from calling Mugabe, who first mentioned the issue of the $15 billion, from appearing before Parliament and asking him how he came to know about that," Mliswa said, without specifically mentioning when Mugabe would be summoned.

Meanwhile, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa told Senate last week that Zimbabwe has no cent in the sovereign wealth fund, adding the country has no capacity to mobilise resources for the fund.

The sovereign wealth fund is supposed to be financed through money from royalties on minerals.

A sovereign wealth fund is a savings account that must accumulate over time and be used to meet future developmental needs.