Chi­huri ‘per­son­alised’ di­a­mond firm

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Aux­ilia Ka­ton­go­mara

FORMER Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral Dr Au­gus­tine Chi­huri al­legedly per­son­alised the Zim­babwe Republic Po­lice’s di­a­mond min­ing com­pany, Gye Nyame, in Marange as he “sorely” op­er­ated it, a Par­lia­men­tary Com­mit­tee re­port has said.

e former po­lice boss is ac­cused of hand pick­ing po­lice rep­re­sen­ta­tives for the Board of Gye Nyame with­out the knowl­edge of other top cops and of­fi­cials in­clud­ing the Min­is­ter of Home Af­fairs and the Min­istry’s Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port pre­sented in Par­lia­ment by the Com­mit­tee on Mines and En­ergy fol­low­ing a probe into the min­ing of di­a­monds at Chi­adzwa, the former Min­is­ter of Home Af­fairs, Dr Ig­natius Chombo and the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary of Home Af­fairs Mr Melusi Mat­shiya out­lined to the Com­mit­tee that they were not aware of the ex­is­tence and op­er­a­tions of Gye Nyame.

“The Sec­re­tary for Home Af­fairs is ac­count­able for all de­part­ments that fall un­der his purview and un­for­tu­nately he could not ac­count for the op­er­a­tions of the po­lice as they re­late Gye Nyame.

“It was clear to the Com­mit­tee that the com­pany was to some ex­tent per­son­alised with strong ties to the former Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral Dr A Chi­huri. All po­lice rep­re­sen­ta­tives on the Board Ap­point­ments were done by the former po­lice Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral with­out ap­proval of the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary or Min­is­ter of Home Af­fairs,” read the re­port.

The com­mit­tee said it had also noted that those who were ap­pointed by the former Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral to serve on Gye Nyame were very de­fen­sive or ig­no­rant on why they were ap­pointed to serve on the board.

“High rank­ing of­fi­cials in the Po­lice Ser­vice that in­clude Deputy Com­mis­sion­ers In­no­cent Mat­i­biri, Ms Josephine Sham­bare and Mr Levi Sibanda were not con­fi­dent and ar­tic­u­late in their sub­mis­sions about the ex­is­tence and op­er­a­tions of Gye Nyame,” reads the re­port.

The com­mit­tee said they were con­cerned by claims by the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary and Min­is­ter of Home Af­fairs that they were not aware of the op­er­a­tions and ex­is­tence of Gye Nyame as the mat­ter was in the pub­lic do­main which should have prompted them to take ac­tion.

The re­port states that in his writ­ten sub­mis­sions to the Com­mit­tee, Dr Chi­huri said the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary of Home Af­fairs was briefed about the di­a­monds con­ces­sions.

“There is there­fore a pos­si­bil­ity of mis­lead­ing Par­lia­ment by ei­ther of the par­ties. As such charges of con­tempt of Par­lia­ment may be pre­ferred against ei­ther of the par­ties should it be­come clear that there was de­lib­er­ate in­ten­tion to mis­lead the Com­mit­tee.

This is not the end of the in­quiry and ac­count­abil­ity of the par­ties shall be de­manded in due course,” read the re­port.

The Com­mit­tee said it ob­served that serv­ing mem­bers of the po­lice were un­will­ing to dis­close in­for­ma­tion for fear of los­ing their jobs, es­pe­cially in the wake of a po­lice shake up that took place in Jan­uary 2018, where se­nior po­lice of­fi­cers were re­tired from ser­vice.

Un­like the Zim­babwe Republic Po­lice whose books were in sham­bles, The Zim­babwe Na­tional Army, through its com­pany An­jin, had its house in or­der. An­jin was one of the big­gest play­ers at the di­a­mond fields and pro­duced ap­prox­i­mately nine mil­lion carats which gen­er­ated about $332 mil­lion in rev­enue, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

Out of that fig­ure, $62 mil­lion went to Govern­ment as roy­al­ties and $86 mil­lion was spent un­der cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity pro­grammes.

“Un­like the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary of Home Af­fairs, The Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary of Defence proved to the com­mit­tee that he re­ceived reg­u­lar briefs and was on top of the sit­u­a­tion. For the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary of Home Af­fairs there was a prima fa­cie ev­i­dence of dere­lic­tion of duty, some­thing that must not be al­lowed in the pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion,” read the re­port.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, the ZNA also stated that their op­er­a­tions were trans­par­ent and open for the pub­lic to au­dit.

The com­mit­tee rec­om­mended that Govern­ment arms such as the po­lice, army and the Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Or­gan­i­sa­tion should not be in­volved in min­ing ven­tures. “Th­ese must con­cen­trate on their core busi­ness,” said the Com­mit­tee.

The com­mit­tee also rec­om­mended that of­fi­cials from the Min­istry of Mines, Zim­babwe Min­ing De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (ZMDC) and its sub­sidiaries de­clare their in­ter­est and as­sets on as­sump­tion of of­fice and dur­ing their term of of­fice to curb

cor­rup­tion.— @ Aux­il­iaK

Dr Au­gus­tine Chi­huri

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