25 May 2018

Zimbabwe: 'Action' to Be Taken If Mugabe Snubs Parliament

Photo: New Zimbabwe
Former president Robert Mugabe.

Harare — A Zimbabwean parliamentary committee has threatened unspecified action against former president, Robert Mugabe, if he fails to appear before it to give evidence on alleged looting of diamond revenues while he was in power.

The veteran leader who was deposed last November after over 37 years at the helm, in 2006 claimed looters had denied the country US$15 billion (R186,5 billion) through leakages to the black market.

Zimbabwe has failed to develop its economy despite vast diamonds discovered east of the country after the new millenium.

Following his ousting in a military coup, the new government, eager to recover funds lost after years of corruption, is determined to have Mugabe present evidence in Parliament.

On Wednesday, he failed to appear before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy because of reasons that could not be ascertained.

Temba Mliswa, chairman of the committee, said the parliamentary body believed the 9am time Mugabe was scheduled to appear might have been too early, considering as the head of state, Mugabe usually chaired cabinet meetings from 12pm.

The committee has scheduled to reschedule the meeting for Monday.

"In view of the time, we have resolved that we will write to him again to appear before the committee on Monday at 2pm," Mliswa said outside parliament.

Asked what measures would be taken if Mugabe again did not appear, Mliswa said, "Parliament has powers to take action but we would not want to get to that. We expect that he will attend."

While at helm, Mugabe was notorious for defying the legislative and judicial arms of government.

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