Minister Mpofu In Zimbabwe Diamond Scandal

The diamonds, worth millions of dollars, had earlier on been delivered to the central bank by the deputy sheriff in the presence of officials from governments Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ), UK company and the owners of the diamonds, African Consolidated Resources (ACR), Central Intelligence Organisation Operatives, police officers led by one Freedom Gumbo.

Last month the Supreme Court ruled that 300 000 carats seized from the London-based ACR in 2006 should be kept at the RBZ for safekeeping.

Highly placed sources told RadioVoP that police officer Gumbo then told all the people who had witnessed the moving of the diamonds from MMCZ offices in Msasa to the RBZ that he had received directives from Senior Assistant Commissioner Silence Pondo – who heads the precious mineral unit to take the diamonds to an unknown destination. The police officers claimed to have been sent by Mpofu.

ACR lawyer Jonathan Samkange said over the weekend that Mpofu had ordered the police to remove the diamonds from the RBZ.

Samkange said he did not know where the diamonds had been taken to.

“The diamonds must be kept at the RBZ. I do not know why the government decided to disregard that order and take our diamonds,” said Samkange.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku last month ruled that the diamonds should be held by the RBZ until the mining rights case between ACR and the government has been resolved. This followed an appeal by the government against a High Court order by Justice Charles Hungwe.

The sources said Mpofu had earlier on personally attempted to block the movement of the diamonds from MMCZ offices to RBZ after he produced a letter from the Supreme Court that allegedly barred the deputy sheriff from transporting the diamonds.

But the deputy sheriff stood his ground telling Mpofu that he was acting on the basis of Chidyausiku’s order.

Zimbabwe’s diamonds have been mired in controversy since government took over ACR claims in Marange.