Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Zimbabwe's $ 15b Diamond Scam

A member of parliament in Zimbabwe says he wants parliament to summon former president Robert Mugabe to explain where $15 billion worth of diamond revenue went during his rule. Two years ago Mugabe said the state had earned less than $2 billion from its diamonds - but an estimated $15 billion worth had been mined.

The former president's wife Grace was at one time rumored to be linked to one of the main diamond firms.

93 year old Mugabe was persuaded to step down after the military put him under house arrest in November 2017.
Mugabe and his wife Grace are entitled to more than 25 personal staff‚ a furnished office‚ two properties‚ a fleet of cars for employees‚ private international travel and an entertainment allowance. Grace Mugabe will be looked after when Mugabe dies and be entitled to stay in an official residence. Given the nickname “Gucci Grace” by Zimbabweans for her many extravagant shopping trips, she has been a polarizing figure in a country besieged with poverty.
Corruption in Zimbabwe has become endemic. Mugabe and his politburo made huge personal benefits by assigning lucrative concessions in the Marange diamond fields to Chinese firms and the Zimbabwean military.
The Zimbabwean military, which oversees the Marange fields, has been accused of systematic human rights abuses and smuggling of diamonds to neighbouring Mozambique.