People’s Democratic Party: Mugabe Must Step Down Over Missing $15 Billion Diamond Revenue – by Gibbs Dube (Voice of America Zimbabwe – March 17, 2016)

WASHINGTON DC— The alleged looting of potential diamond revenue, estimated by President Robert Mugabe to be about $15 billion, has caused a stir in the country with opposition parties urging the 92 year old Zimbabwean leader to step down.

Opposition parties claim that Mr. Mugabe’s colleagues, some top state security officials and people linked to the ruling party should be held responsible for the suspected looting of the diamonds, which was once highlighted in 2012 by Partnership Africa Canada.

Partnership Canada alleged that at least $2 billion worth of diamonds were stolen from the country’s diamond fields and ended up in the pockets of President Mugabe’s ruling elite. The same allegations were once made by former Finance Minister Tendai Biti.

Then Mines Minister Obert Mpofu dismissed these allegations as wishful thinking. Now, he is refusing to open up on the issue. But the latest revelations by the president and a state order for diamond mining companies to cease operations for accountability purposes, indicate that all is not well in the diamond-rich Manicaland province.

For perspective, Studio 7 reached Nick Mangwana, a Zanu PF activist living in London, and George Mkhwanazi, deputy spokesperson of the People’s Democratic Party. Mangwana said quantifying the amount of diamonds and funds looted is an uphill task.

“In the president’t interview he indicated that it wasn’t very clear, the computations of the figure was not clear. He said something to the effect that $2 billion had been declared but he suspected that it could have been $15 billion or more realized from the diamond proceeds.

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