Former mines secretary Francis Gundyanga says his life is under threat from ‘dark forces’ if he discloses what he knows about missing funds from diamond mining deals in the Chiadzwa fields.
He was testifying before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy today.
The committee is probing allegations by former president Robert Mugabe on March 5, 2016 that the country could have lost up to $15 billion in shady diamond deals.
Gudyanga is one of the officials who have been taken to court over several cases of graft in recent weeks, including former ministers Ignatius Chombo, Walter Mzembi and Walter Chidhakwa as the new administration of Emmerson Mnangagwa seeks to shed a deep-seated culture of corruption that thrived under Mugabe.
“I cannot disclose anything right now because dark forces are at play and I was threatened. And since I resigned I have been taken to the courts three times,” Gudyanga told the committee after members asked him how companies were able to mine in Chiadzwa without licences.
Gudyanga has been at the epicentre of Zimbabwe’s mineral trade, after he was appointed a one-man board for key mining parastatals, the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, Minerals Marketing Corporation and Marange Resources between 2013 and 2016, making him a central figure in the diamond dealings at the verdant Chiadzwa fields.
He was also at the centre of efforts by government to secure a loan from China in exchange for Zimbabwe’s minerals in 2014 and in 2016, he ordered mysterious payments amounting to $1.3 million to Glamer Limited through Israeli farm input firm Pedstock Investments, a unit of Nikuv International Projects Limited.
Nikuv gained notoriety among opposition groups in Zimbabwe after its alleged role in manipulating the country’s voter list ahead of the disputed 2013 election in which former President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF regained untrammeled power following four years of sharing power with the opposition.
Then, Gudyanga told the committee that the issue was too sensitive to disclose.
Several former and current officials in the security sector told the committee that security services funded their operations from Chiadzwa diamond mining activities between 2009 and 2011 because the government of national unity was too broke to support their operations.
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