Is it really necessary to summon Mugabe to testify on the missing diamonds?


The media is awash with news that former President Robert Mugabe will be summoned to testify on Zimbabwe’s missing diamonds before the Parliamentary Committee on Mines.

It is good reading indeed, because despite his fall from grace, Mugabe remains a best seller.

The question, however, is: What will this be in aid of, apart from embarrassing the old man and perhaps getting mileage for the chairman of the committee?

Parliament has a duty to make everyone accountable including top government and party officials as well as heads of parastatals, but what is the committee really expecting to hear from Mugabe?

True, it was Mugabe who brought up the $15 billion figure but everyone now knows that the figure does not make sense. It, however, keeps surfacing more for political expedience than anything else.

Mugabe’s recent interviews especially with foreign journalists indicate that it will be a futile exercise to summon him to testify before the committee.

One is bound to ask: If Mugabe cannot remember that his wife was a member of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and was vying to become president, what makes one think he can remember what happened to Zimbabwe’s diamonds?

As President would it not have been more prudent for the committee to summon Chief Secretary to the Cabinet, or as the chairman failed, pin down Obert Mpofu who was the relevant minister or even Gift Chimanikire who was deputy minister?

By summoning Mugabe is this not proof enough that people are only interested in embarrassing him and destroying his legacy?

The committee should find ways of getting to the bottom of the missing diamond revenue.

The talkshop that the hearings have turned into, where people seem to be more interested in scoring points ahead of the coming elections than finding where the revenue went will not benefit the people of Marange who believed that the find of the century would turn their lives around.

Surely, the committee can get the information it wants without embarrassing the country’s “founding father”.

Indeed, Mugabe is not above the law. But should he not have been summoned after the committee had come up with evidence that he was directly implicated in siphoning out the revenue?



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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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