Zimbabwe’s former mines minister Obert Mpofu refused to give evidence before a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy concerning diamond mining activities in Marange under his watch.
Diamond mining in Marange was marked by leakages and poor revenue inflows to the treasury, a move that forced Harare to consolidate concessions in 2016.
Mpofu, who was now the country’s home Affairs minister, said he should not be questioned on matters that were no longer under his purview.
Mpofu also said that the chairperson of the committee Temba Mliswa was conflicted and had been using the platform to denigrate him.
Mliswa insisted on chairing the meeting and that there was nothing wrong for them to seek answers about issues that transpired under his watch as the mines minister.
Prior to the fiasco, the committee had heard evidence from Lovemore Kurotwi, who was a shareholder of Canadile, a firm that briefly mined diamonds in Marange.
He claimed that Mpofu asked for a $10 million bribe from Canadile for approving a special grant to operate in Marange.
Kurotwi also said Mpofu gave them a directive to pay Harare lawyer Farai Mutamangira $600 000, but they refused as no legal service had been rendered to them.
He took the matter to former President Robert Mugabe, who only chastised his minister verbally in his presence, but failed to investigate him.
Mugabe famously claimed in February last year that the country only received $2 billion from about $15 billion realised from the selling, although clandestinely, of Marange diamonds since 2008.