MINES and Mining Development deputy minister Fred Moyo has revealed that the government is undertaking an audit to put closure to the missing $15 billion in diamond revenues.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
President Robert Mugabe in February shocked the nation when he disclosed that nearly $15bn in expected diamond revenues had disappeared.
Despite the disclosure, the government has not shown any appetite to follow up on the matter, attracting criticism and scorn from opposition parties.
Moyo said his ministry had begun investigations into the matter.
“The issue of the $15bn was mentioned by those that are in Cabinet and the Executive, that is, His Excellency, the President,” he told Senators recently.
“At our level, as directors and deputy ministers, we have not been tasked to do anything, but what I can say is that we already have our programme, as a ministry, where we are carrying out an audit using an international company.”
Moyo was responding to a question from Senator David Chimhini (MDC-T) on whether the ministry had “put in place, a mechanism to find closure to the question of the alleged missing $15 billion from Chiadzwa”.
Moyo said the ministry had instituted an audit into the issue, but insinuated that the missing money was not as much as $15bn.
“It is normal practice for companies to reconcile their activities and geology that we had predicted and the geology that came out — the minerals that we had estimated, the minerals that came out and the prices that we had estimated,” Moyo explained.
“That audit has been put in motion, but the $15 billion — talking as an engineer — it is quite a general statement and I am not sure where you will be starting from, because you say $15 billion or saleable equipment of what was in the ground or what was mined. So, I am not too sure what that figure was referring to.”
Zimbabwe is rated among the most corrupt countries in many surveys ranking graft trends worldwide.