HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s parliament has ordered former leader Robert Mugabe to answer questions next month about whether the state was deprived of $15 billion in diamond revenue, a legislator said on Friday.
It will be Mugabe’s first public appearance since last November when the army deposed him in a de facto coup after nearly four decades in power and he was replaced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The 94-year-old gave his first television interview last month since he lost power and said Mnangagwa had betrayed him and assumed the presidency illegally.
Mugabe said in March 2016 the country was robbed of wealth by diamond companies including joint ventures between Chinese companies and the army, police and intelligence services whose operations were shielded from public scrutiny.
Specifically, he said Zimbabwe lost $15 billion in revenue from Marange gem fields, more than 400 km (250 miles) east of the capital. He expelled those firms last year and replaced them with a state-owned diamond company.