Zimbabwe Diamond US$6m bribery scandal deepens

A TOTAL of US$100 million was initially at stake in the controversial diamond mining deal which has angered President Robert Mugabe who this week took an unprecedented step to publicly accuse former Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) chairperson Godwills Masimirembwa of demanding and receiving about US$6 million bribe, it emerged yesterday.

This came as the scandal deepened amid conflicting narratives by those close to Masimirembwa and William Ato Essien, the Ghanaian tycoon at the centre of bribery allegations.

Sources close to Masimirembwa say the money received by the diamond company Gye Nyame Resources, a public-private partnership initially between state-owned ZMDC and Bill Minerals of Ghana, was a “commitment fee” which eventually went into operations, not a bribe.

However, Essien last night told the Zimbabwe Independent from Ghana he brought in US$5,9 million in 2011 in cash and the money was taken by Masimirembwa. Gye Nyame chairperson Manson Mnaba confirmed Essien brought the money although he does not know whether Masimirembwa took it. Mugabe said on Tuesday the ex-ZMDC chairperson got the money. The case is now under police investigation.

When the deal was initially brokered, it was supposed to be worth US$100 million.

Post published in: Mining

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *