INVESTIGATIONS into the alleged looting of proceeds from diamond mining in Chiadzwa must be expedited and culprits brought to book, a Government minister has said. Speaking at the official opening of Zimunya Marange Zanu-PF and war veterans offices at Bazel Bridge in Marange yesterday, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said Government would continue supporting Minister of Mines and Mining Development Walter Chidhakwa in the ongoing investigations and ensure the matter was brought to finality.
He admitted that Government let down the people of Marange by letting the companies that were operating in Chiadzwa loot proceeds from diamond mining while the villagers remained in abject poverty.
“When the diamonds were discovered here we all thought that it will improve the livelihood of the people in this area. Now all we have is a lot of theories on what could have happened to our diamonds.
“Why should the people of Marange remain poor when some people siphoned their riches to foreign countries? We did let down the people of this region. “Now we are behind the Government through the Ministry of Mines in the investigation into the looting of the proceeds from Chiadzwa.
“Kana zvichinzi tichasvina dumbu iroro madiamonds edu abude ticharisvina. Whoever stole the diamonds must face the full wrath of the law. We want this issue to be brought to its logical conclusion,” said Cde Kasukuwere to the applause of villagers gathered for the occasion.
Government recently launched an investigation into the looting of proceeds from diamond mining in Chiadzwa. In fact, Zimbabwe has since 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 Lon- don.
Lord Chidge told the House of Lords just a fortnight 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. 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.
Speaking during yesterday’s event, Minister of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators Ex-Political Detainees and Restrictees Cde Tshinga Dube took a swipe at the media for fanning divisions between the ruling party and the liberation war fighters’ representatives’ body.
“We are sometimes swayed by the press, which at times have a different agenda from that of ours. I am not attacking the press in any way because they are a necessary evil to keep our people informed on what is going on and criticise us when we do the wrong things and let the public know that we are doing the wrong things. But at times they overemphasise on their slant and tend to create wedges between the party and other party organs,” said Cde Dube (see story below).
The Bazeley Bridge Zanu-PF and war veterans district offices were built with the assistance of Member of the House of Assembly for Zimunya-Marange Dr Chris Mushohwe, who was also present during yesterday’s occasion as well as his Mutare South counterpart Cde Nyasha Chikwinya.