Millennium Post

In trouble again

When the erstwhile President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, was forced to resign even as an exasperated nation rejoiced, everyone thought no action would be taken against the 94-year-old leader. After all, he was not one to give up so easily. Only after receiving guarantees of an amnesty for both himself and his defamed wife, did the veteran "freedom fighter" agree to step down. Mineral-Rich Zimbabwe's economy was in absolute tatters; many had lost their jobs and the prices of essentials had hit the roof. However, Mugabe knew where the country's wealth and resources lay. But, it was his wife Grace that Parliamentarians wanted to be investigated for corruption and abject misuse of power. Nevertheless, even there, the country's leadership was dithering. True, the immediate past President was too old but his wife was not. Even the present President was hesitant in initiating any move. But now, Zimbabwe's Parliament has threatened to charge the country's former President Robert Mugabe with contempt if he does not appear at a hearing probing $15 billion in lost diamond revenue. Mugabe failed to show up at a hearing on Monday before Zimbabwe's Mines and Energy Parliament Portfolios Committee to clarify claims he made in 2016 that the country had lost $15 billion through diamond leakages. It was the second time Mugabe did not turn up to face the lawmakers and he drew the anger of the committee officials who have ordered him to turn up on June 11 or face contempt charges and possible jail time. "We expect him to have time to appear before Parliament. We expect him to cooperate and the Parliament has the power to summon anyone," said committee chairman Temba Mliswa in Harare. He added: "In the letter we are writing to him, which is a final letter, we are reminding him that we will be summoning him and we hope we are not getting to that stage of summoning a former president...Let me remind you that the former and late MP Roy Bennett was sent to prison by the Parliament. So, let's be mindful of the powers the Parliament has." During his 92nd birthday in 2016, Mugabe told the state broadcaster that Zimbabwe had lost $15 billion through diamond leakages, resulting in him nationalising the industry. Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe for nearly 38 years, made his exit from power last November after giving in to military pressure. Since then, he has rarely been seen in public and only addressed a few journalists earlier this year when he accused his former deputy and successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa of dethroning him unconstitutionally. But, such accusations can cut no ice till he comes out clean on the lost $15 billion diamond leakages.
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