President Robert Mugabe yesterday blasted former Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) boss Godwills Masimirembwa, a losing Zanu PF candidate for Mabvuku –Tafara in Harare over corruption involving the exploitation of mineral resources.
Addressing MPs soon after the official opening of the first session of the 8th Parliament in Harare yesterday a visibly angry Mugabe said such behavior was intolerable and would not go unpunished.
It is alleged Masimirembwa extorted $6 million from a Ghanaian company that sought to invest in the Marange diamond field on a joint venture agreement with ZMDC.
Mugabe reportedly said Masimirembwa and his “group demanded money in cash and created a shelf company that took equity in the diamond mining firm under unclear legal circumstances before astonishingly claiming that the Ghanaians had violated some unspecified Zimbabwean law and threatening them with arrest should they set foot in Zimbabwe.”
“Corruption must go, corruption must go, corruption must go,” the President said.
Mugabe said the investors were assured by Police Commissioner general Augustine Chihuri that they would not be arrested, but continued to receive threats from Masimirembwa that they would be rested if they come.
They later approached former South African President Thabo Mbeki with their grievances before following up with ex-Mines minister Obert Mpofu to Washington where he was attending a diamond conference with Attorney General Johannes Tomana.
When officially opening Parliament, Mugabe said his government would not tolerate corruption.
Masimirembwa was accused by the MDC-T of splashing cash to buy votes in Mabuku-Tafara before the July 31 harmonised polls which he narrowly lost to MDC-T’s James Maridadi.