Another Huge Diamonds Scandal Emerging
FORMER Mines ministry secretary Francis Gudyanga and another unnamed individual used to own shares in the government-controlled Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), Parliament heard yesterday.
This was revealed by legal officer in the ministry Jackie Manyonga when she appeared before the Temba Mliswa-led Mines committee together with Mines secretary Onesmo Moyo to speak on the ministry’s 2019 budget proposals.
MPs asked Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) chairperson Partson Chimboza to explain the legality of its subsidiary company, ZCDC, but he professed ignorance over the issue, resulting in the committee turning to Manyonga for answers.
“ZCDC was owned in terms of the Companies Act and we sought to regularise it as a subsidiary of ZMDC because there was the issue of shares owned by Gudyanga and another person, but government bought all the shares and now has 100% ownership,” Manyonga said.
Mliswa said if ZCDC was politicised, then the ministry officials must say so because the country was struggling financially and needed revenue from mining.
“Who is the personality that really runs the ZCDC? Is it the Mines minister or President? Some of us are prepared to be removed as chairperson for the sake of good governance,” Mliswa said.
The committee was not impressed by the goings on at ZCDC, especially after Manyonga further revealed that the diamonds mined by the entity in Chiadzwa were stockpiled and later auctioned in a manner which MPs thought was dubious.
“ZCDC was given a loan by the RBZ (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe), and in a bid to securitise it, there was a directive that the diamonds should not be sold immediately. That is why they were stockpiled, but a few months ago those diamonds were auctioned,” Manyonga said.
The committee said Manyonga’s revelations that diamonds were secretly sold will give rise for another diamond revenue probe.
“This means there is now need for another diamond probe to find out how much they were sold for and how much money was lost when these diamonds were stockpiled,” Mliswa said.
Meanwhile, Mines minister Winston Chitando yesterday appointed a new board for the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ), which will be chaired by David Murangari.
The other board members are Chamber of Mines chief executive officer Isaac Kwesu, Rose Mukogo, Ignatius Tichivangana, Merch Manyuchi, Ester Maravanyika and Jermister Chininga.
In 2017, the MMCZ was run by a one-man board comprising of only Gudyanga.
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