Woes continue to mount for Home Affairs minister, Obert Mpofu after businessman, Lovemore Kurotwi reported him to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) for alleged abuse of office and plunder of Marange diamonds.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
This comes as parliament says it is leaving no stone unturned in its probe of the $15 billion missing diamond money with Mpofu set to be grilled by the portfolio committee on Mines and Energy.
In a report filed with ZACC on January 22, Kurotwi alleges that Mpofu took 1,34 million carats of diamonds belonging to his firm and were in custody of the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe and converted them into personnel benefit.
“We write to request that you investigate the current minister of Home Affairs, Obert Mpofu over known corruption which he has committed but which now seems to be swept under the carpet either for reasons of ignorance of the said corruption by the relevant authorities or reasons of impunity or both,” Kurotwi wrote.
Kurotwi used to run Canadile Miners but was kicked out of Chiadzwa after he was arrested for fraud before being acquitted by the High Court.
In the letter to ZACC, Kurotwi narrates the alleged $10 million bribe that Mpofu allegedly demanded in return for mining concessions in Chiadzwa, an issue he allegedly raised before former president Robert Mugabe.
After reporting Mpofu to Mugabe then, Kurotwi claims he was arrested for fraud but the case could not stick as it was being concocted by the minister.
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“During the time my so called fraud case was still subjudice, Mpofu further took advantage to the subjudice position and confiscated, 1,4 million carats of our diamonds which were in our vaults in Mutare, $10.6 million which was in the custody of the Minerals Marketing cooperation of Zimbabwe,” Kurotwi stated.
He said effort to repossess the money and diamonds have yielded nothing with officials in the ministry all professing ignorance on the whereabouts of the same—excerpt for Mpofu.
“There is reasonable suspicion that cash and stock of diamonds could have been converted to personal use and gain by Mpofu,” the report letter states.
Two weeks ago, Kurotwi reported Mpofu to President Emmerson Mnangagwa over the same issue.
Mpofu has persistently denied corruption allegations levelled against him instead suggesting that Kurotwi had no capacity to buy even a bottle of water for him as he was only a front for foreign business interests.
The issue also comes as the committee on mines and Energy development said it was launching a probe into the operation of mining firms that were in Marange and how ministers who superintended over the sector had become rich while they were in charge.