Zimbabwe’s $15 billion missing diamonds case could be dead


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HON. SEN. CHABUKA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs. Are there any measures that you have put in place to arrest those people who stole our $15 billion? As you can see the country is now bleeding, we have no money, nothing. I thank you Madam President.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): With the risk of being dishonourable, I was going to say the question is frivolous. However, through you Madam President, the question of $15 billion which has been raised by the Hon. Senator, if people make statements in jests and they are taken seriously, I do not think we will be right to give way to something which is not substantiated. If ever there is anyone who stole $15 billion and there is someone out there who may have evidence to that effect, that can be brought before the police and the police will investigate and arrest, not arrest and investigate. Thank you.

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HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: On a point of order, Madam President. The Minister said the question was frivolous but this issue of $15 billion was actually raised by the then President of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe and there was actually a committee that was formed to actually investigate to see who had actually taken this money. Actually, a lot of people were fired and others transferred to other ministries because of this $15 billion. So, definitely the question is not frivolous – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: You understand that Minister?

HON. MADIRO:  Thank you Madam President, I withdraw my statement.  My response is that when allegations are made, where crimes are suspected to have been committed or are being committed, the police will investigate because that is their mandate which is provided for in the Constitution.  It is only where the police are satisfied that there is reasonable suspicion that the crime have been committed that arrest are done. So, statements have been made and so far there is no evidence about the stolen US$15bn, so there are no arrests.

HON. SEN. CHABUKA: Madam President, it is not a joke to be here in this Senate, we were sent by people to represent them.  People are looking at us out there.  US$15b was stolen by people who were in Government, the President said that.  You are the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and you are the one who can send police to go and arrest that person because the country is bleeding and it has no money, we want that US$15bn Deputy Minister.  Are there any measures you can put in place to arrest those people who stole our money?

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Before you sit down Hon. Senator, you direct your question to the Chair and not just straight to the Minister.

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you Madam President. With due respect, I respect the Hon. Senator and there is no purpose or need to hide crimes by the police if it is there.  So, we are available if the Hon. Senator has got evidence.  My Hon. Senator is very strong, she may have evidence or may have heard that there is evidence, she can bring it forward then the police will investigate.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Maybe the Hon. Senator was asking if there are any investigations which are underway – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –

HON. MADIRO: Madam President, investigations are done when someone comes forward to give evidence or report that a crime has been committed.  If statements are made, maybe at political rallies for political purposes – then that is a different matter altogether because theft of such an amount of money is a serious matter. We encourage those who have got evidence to come forward rather than rely on statements made at political fora.  I thank you very much.

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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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