Is Mugabe merely being stubborn or someone does not want him to testify on the missing diamonds?

Also, on February 23 this year, the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) deputy general manager Masimba Chandavengerwa told the same Mliswa-led parliamentary committee that the parastatal had sold 51 million carats of diamonds in the 11 years to 2017 valued at $2.4 billion.

The gems were being sold cheaply because buyers felt that the dealing with the parastatal was risky as it was under United States sanctions, he added.

While the figures might appear similar, the MMCZ figures cover a period of 11 years while the KPCS figures are for six years.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Martin Rushwaya argued before the same committee that Mugabe’s claims of the country losing $15 billion to diamond theft were ‘mischievous’ and may have been made by officials seeking to justify the closure of diamond mines in the Chiadzwa fields and the consolidation of operations under the state-owned Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company.

Zimbabwe’s history of dealing in diamonds has at best been murky and some officials are not keen to discuss the details of what went on for fear of antagonising the establishment.

Former Mines Secretary, Francis Gundyanga, told the Mliswa committee that his life would be under threat from ‘dark forces’ if he discloses what he knows about the goings on in the Marange diamond fields.

Going by that statement, there are definitely funds missing from all the diamond dealings, but how much?

What does Mugabe know about the missing funds and does he actually want to disclose what he knows?

Or are the same forces putting the fear of God into Gudyanga also at play in Mugabe’s case, or it is just his arrogance?

Reuters News Agency, quoting a ruling ZANU-PF party official, reported last week that it was unlikely Mugabe would appear before the Mliswa-led committee because of opposition by influential politicians.

“They are saying they do not want their old man to be embarrassed especially by the opposition members of parliament. It will not happen,” said the official.

Mliswa said in a statement on Monday that Mugabe “is not being persecuted. It is only a matter of us hearing from him whatever he has to say”.

Ibbo Mandaza, an academic and political commentator, says what Mugabe has to say nowadays poses a threat to the establishment. In March this year, Mugabe gave his first television interview since his ouster and accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa of betrayal and assuming the presidency illegally.

“They (authorities) fear that he will spill the beans on what they were doing, even though in my view he is also culpable but clearly the issue is that they (Mnangagwa and Chiwenga) are preventing him from going to Parliament as they have much more to fear. It’s possible that there would now be pressure on the portfolio committee to call (the hearing) off,” Mandaza said.

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