Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe risked being charged with contempt by the country’s parliament after he failed to appear on Monday, May 28, 2018 before parliament to clarify a statement he made in 2016 that Zimbabwe could have lost 15 billion U.S. dollars through diamond revenue leakages.
The parliamentary portfolio committee on mines and energy initially wanted Mugabe to appear before it on May 9 but postponed this to May 23.
Mugabe did not come on May 23, resulting in parliament postponing the hearing to May 28.
Committee chairperson Themba Mliswa told journalists on Monday that parliament would now write the third and final letter to Mugabe inviting him to attend, failure of which he would face contempt of parliament charges.
“The committee unanimously agreed that we write to the former president inviting him to appear before us on June 11, 2018 at 2 O’clock,” Mliswa said.”If he fails to attend, we will have no choice but to summon him and it’s something that we regret. We hope we will not get to that stage of summoning him as his legacy needs to be protected.”
Mliswa said Mugabe had not responded to any of their invitations so far.
The meeting, if it happens, will be Mugabe’s first public meeting since he was forced to resign in November last year following a military intervention.
Mugabe said in 2016 that Zimbabwe could have lost 15 billion dollars through diamond revenue leakages from mining operations in Chiadzwa diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe.
Over the past months, the committee has been trying to get more information on the matter and has since received oral evidence from several serving and former cabinet ministers, security chiefs and mining officials.
Mliswa said they were waiting for Mugabe’s oral evidence so that they can conclude their report on the alleged 15 billion dollars.