MANICALAND Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene has admitted that the $15 billion diamond loot in Chiadzwa exposed the Zanu PF leadership in the province, as the alleged scam was conducted under their noses.
The outspoken minister made the remarks last Friday at the Zimpapers’ Diamond FM launch in Mutare, where she said all Zanu PF politicians in the province were hanging their heads in shame after they failed to sniff out the looters.
“Wherever we are invited, together with Information minister Christopher Mushohwe, we don’t want to be recognised, as we are ashamed because the diamond looting was done under our watch,” she said.
President Robert Mugabe broke the news of the missing $15 billion diamond revenue in an interview to mark his 92nd birthday in March this year, saying Treasury had received $2 billion since diamond mining operations started in 2008.
Chimene, who, two years ago, replaced Mushohwe as Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister, also admitted that she had failed to push the diamond mining companies to honour their $50 million pledges to the Zimunya Marange Community Share Ownership Trust.
Turning to Mutare City Council, she said the local authority was now geared for fresh investments following a government-initiated clean-up campaign, which exposed massive corruption, which implicated top council officials and councillors.
“There were things that were affecting us in the city. We had a shake-up at Mutare City Council, but we are not sleeping trying to wipe out corruption in the city,’’ she said.
Chimene was instrumental in pushing for a government audit, which led to the resignation of Mutare town clerk Obert Muzawazi. newsday