By Mlondolozi Ndlovu
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led by the former Finance Minister Tendai Biti has noted that the First family could have siphoned the diamonds proceeds to sponsor rallies by the First lady.
In a statement released by the party the first lady’s rallies should be investigated for having benefited in the looting of the Chiadzwa diamonds.
“The recent rallies by Mugabe’s second wife have also had the same features (vote buying through diamond) thus betraying that someone looting our resources is giving rent to the first family and ZANU PF. This is unacceptable” said PDP.
Biti’s party noted that the country had been duped by Zanu PF who used the diamonds money to campaign in the 2013 elections.
“The 2013 election was characterized by breath taking patronage and large scale vote buying which were certainly paid for by diamond money,” they reiterated.
The party noted that the recent revelation had vindicted the former Finance Minister who on several occasions noted that Zimbabwe was not benefiting from the diamonds.
“The revelations by Robert Mugabe that Zimbabwe lost a whopping US$15 billion worth of diamonds from Chiadzwa in the 7 or so years of operations confirm what then Minister of Finance and current President of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said on several occasions, that Chiadzwa was being looted,” they said.
“Mugabe is thus the godfather of corruption and his mild admission that diamonds were heavily looted is just a tip of the iceberg. As the PDP we argue that more than just diamonds have been looted in the country’s extractive sector,” reads the statement.
The Tendai Biti led-party also slammed the secrecy of some mining contracts, a hindrance on accountability that the Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers Association(ZELA) has always been clamouring about.
“To this day no one knows what other minerals have been looted in areas such as platinum mining in Ngezi and Zvishavane. If investigations can be done we will certainly get shocked at the level to which our minerals have been looted by private companies with the full blessings of Mugabe himself,” added the statement.
Meanwhile , an unidentified man staged a solo demonstration outside the parliament on Wednesday demanding accountability on the alleged missing $15 billion .
The man who also had a petition which he handed to security details was whisked away from the parliament building and some legislators including the minister of home affairs could be seen milling around the man who was holding a placard written, “Where is our $15 billion,Toida Irikupi(we demand it where is it?.
The man was then escorted to Harare Central Police station and it is not yet established which charges were levelled against him
There has been an uproar after President Robert Gabriel Mugabe made stunning revelations that the country could have lost $15 billion dollars revenue from diamonds proceed owing to various irregularities that have since made the government to order the banning of all diamond mining activities last month.
Zimbabwe is believed to have only benefitted a paltry $2 billion dollars since the formalisation of the diamond mining operations in 2008.