Zimbabwe has extended investigations into the looting of its diamond money to London following a statement by a British peer Lord David Chidgey that billions of dollars from proceeds of Zimbabwe’s diamonds were stashed in London.
Lord Chidgey told the House of Lords just over two weeks ago that London was the destination of choice for billions of dollars whisked out of The Crimea and the proceeds of the diamond fields of Zimbabwe and the bauxite mines of Guinea.
According to The Sunday Mail, the Auditor-General’s Office has already invited local and international auditors to investigate firms that mined diamonds in Chiadzwa over the past decade until government took over all operations there early this year.
Mines Secretary Francis Gudyanga told The Sunday Mail that Zimbabwe was taking Lord Chidgey’s claims seriously.
“Government will look into the claims … At this moment we are discounting nothing, we know that some of the money is hidden away in foreign banks and hopefully the audit will flush that out into the open,” he said.
“As you, know the Auditor-General has already flighted a tender inviting experienced auditors to undertake the probe and from what I have gathered there has been generally a lot of interest. We are now at very advanced stage in terms of preparations for the audit to take off the ground.
“Tendering will be closed by June 29 and I understand the Auditor-General will, without delay, appoint qualified chartered accountants.”
The paper said at least three chartered accounting firms will be contracted to probe Mbada Diamonds, Anjin, Marange Resources, Diamond Mining Company, Kusena Diamonds, Jinan and Gye Nyame, which all operated in the Chiadzwa diamond fields via 50-50 joint ventures with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.
A former bank manager is already before the courts facing charges of facilitating the looting.