MUTARE – Themba Mliswa, chairperson of Zimbabwe’s Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Mines and Energy, this week accused the country’s Minister of Mines and Mining Development – Winston Chitando, as a thief and corrupt official who stalled the country’s potential mining industrial growth by misleading President Emerson Mnangagwa on critical policies.
In an exclusive interview with African Voice Global Friday, on the sidelines of an emotionally-charged Manicaland Diamond Mining Indaba organised by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA), Mliswa said Chitando’s corrupt tendencies were the major reason investors would not invest in Zimbabwe, knowing that the mining industry was in ‘dirty hands.’
“The international market know and read in the papers what is happening in the mining sector. There is no serious investor who will pour money when they know that the mining industry is in wrong hands,” said Mliswa.
“The investors will not gamble with their money. Very soon we will hear that the international market has stopped buying the Zimbabwe diamonds because of what is happening. There is no transparency in the whole process and there are a lot of human rights abuses at the mines.”
Mliswa said the Zimbabwe Supreme Court had ruled the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company an illegal entity which should stop mining at Chiadzwa diamond fields.
“But Chitando is misleading the President. There is a lot of rot and corruption going on in the mining sector. Why is it that the country is always signing deals everywhere by ceding diamonds?” he asked.
“Chitando is leading ZCDC officials and the President in signing those deals for what? Chitando is the one who should correctly advice the President that the Supreme Court has ordered the ZCDC to stop mining because it did not follow the correct procedures,” charged Mliswa, adding that Chitando’s corrupt behaviour was not in the spirit of the new dispensation.
“Our President is a lawyer and he knows the judicial processes, but, he is being misled by Chitando regarding the truth of the matter regarding mining of diamonds in Chiadzwa because he (Chitando) wants to steal the diamonds.”
The Supreme Court gave an order in 2016 that compelled the ZCDC to stop mining in Chiadzwa, as it had not followed the correct processes.