The chairperson of a Zimbabwean parliamentary committee investigating the looting and loss of diamond revenue that amounted to $15 billion has reportedly said that ex-president Robert Mugabe would be forced to appear before the committee “whether he likes it or not”.
The 94-year-old Mugabe had been expected to appear before a mines and energy committee on Wednesday.
But, according to Reuters the Mines and Energy committee head Temba Mliswa said that the clerk of parliament hadn’t written to Mugabe, 94, to invite him to appear before it.
He said this had led to the hearing being postponed to a date yet to be decided by the clerk of parliament.
“It has been delayed but that resolution still stands,” Mliswa was quoted as saying. “He will have to appear before the committee whether he likes it or not.”
The lawmakers planned to question the nonagenarian over his 2016 claim that the country had lost $15bn due to corruption and foreign exploitation in the diamond sector.
The committee had already interviewed former ministers, police and intelligence chiefs to answer on diamond mining operations at the vast Chiadzwa gem fields.
Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe from 1980 until he was ousted last year after the military took over briefly and his once-loyal Zanu-PF party turned against him.
The former ruler, whose own regime was accused of siphoning off diamond profits, has described his ousting as a coup, and that it must be “undone”.
Zimbabwe discovered alluvial diamonds in Chiadzwa, in the east of the country, over 10 years ago, and rights groups have accused security forces of using brutal methods to control the scattered deposits.