Anti-corruption blitz: Former ZCDC chief now a free man

Zimbabwean courts are handling emergency cases only during the Level 4 national lockdown

Munyaradzi Doma

Former Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company chief executive Morris Mpofu, who was facing criminal abuse of office charges, has been freed after the state withdrew the charges against him.

Mpofu, who appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court Monday morning, was arrested after he allegedly recommended a blacklisted diamond smuggling ex-con to buy gems from Minerals Marketing Corporation.

Prosecutor Venarandah Munyoro said they were withdrawing charges before Mpofu pleaded because they did not have evidence to prosecute him.

“When the matter was last in court, I requested for more time so that I can get more information from MMCZ but after careful consideration of the information, the state is withdrawing charges against the accused person.

“If we get adequate information, the state can proceed by way of summons,” Munyoro told the court.

Harare Regional Magistrate Hosea Mujaya then allowed for the charges to be withdrawn and Mpofu walked out of court a free man.

Allegations were that on March 19 last year, Mpofu recommended Robal Hussein to be allowed to buy diamonds from MMCZ.

It was alleged that after the recommendation, Hussein on March 26, 2019, attended a diamonds tender at MMCZ where he bought three diamond parcels weighing 358.58 carats for US$258 224 on behalf of a company called Diamond Cut.

Investigations, however, indicated that Hussein had been blacklisted under the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme after being convicted by an Indian court for smuggling 3 605,73 carats of Zimbabwean rough diamonds in 2008.

The rough semi-polished and polished diamonds were confiscated by the Indian government.

Hussein and his accomplice Yousef Osseily were found guilty and each sentenced to four years in jail which they served.

Further investigations led to Mpofu’s arrest for criminal abuse of office.

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