By Daniel Chigundu
ZIMCODD says it was disappointed by recent developments which saw Minister of Home Affairs Obert Mpofu refusing to answer questions in Parliament on the alleged missing US$15 billion diamond revenue.
Mpofu two weeks ago refused to cooperate with the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy arguing that he would not respond until committee chair Temba Mliswa recuses himself.
Zimbabwe reportedly lost about US$15 billion worth of diamond revenue through illicit and shoddy dealing at Chiadzwa in Marange mostly during the time when Obert Mpofu was the Minister of Mines and Mining Development.
In its statement responding to the end of the amnesty deadline, ZICODD slammed government over selective application of the law adding that what Mpofu did was a slap in the face to parliament’s oversight role.
“…By the 16th March 2018 which is the amnesty deadline those who would have failed to return the illegally externalised funds and resources must not only be named but also held answerable for their actions.
“And the Government should desist from nepotism and selective application of the law. It is disappointing to note that some representatives are failing to comply, the case in point being the bold refusal by Honourable Dr Obert Mpofu to respond to questions raised by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development.
“ZIMCODD condemns the arrogance displayed by Honourable Mpofu which is in contempt of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee’s mandate and defeats the principles of transparency and accountability,” read the statement.
Meanwhile, ZIMCODD has applauded companies that have returned their externalised funds and assets but has expressed concern that only a small number had heeded the call.
“ZIMCODD would like to commend individuals and companies who heeded the President’s call to bring back the externalised assets.
“However, it is disappointing to note that some companies and individuals are yet to comply with the amnesty and this goes against the principles of sound public finance management that calls for transparency and accountability,” said ZIMCODD.
Out of 1166 cases of externalisation, a total of 105 cases were processed. This shows that only a minimal number of individuals and companies have heeded the call to bring back the externalised funds and assets and this goes against the clarion call for transparency and accountability.
According to ZIMCODD, in the interest of promoting transparency and accountability, there has to be clarity on how the recovered funds and assets will be utilised for the realisation of citizen’s socio-economic rights.
Out of 1166 cases of externalisation acknowledged by the government which is valued at US$1.3 billion, a total of 105 cases valued at US$250 million were processed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ). This represents only 19.2% of the intended value of the eternalised resources.-