Mugabe’s $15 billion double-edged sword

Source: Mugabe’s $15 billion double-edged sword – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 16, 2016

When President Robert Mugabe first mentioned the missing $15 billion diamond revenue, a number of schools of thought emerged about what the intended purpose of that disclosure was.

NewsDay Comment

The first school of thought opined that this was nothing more than a casus bellis to close the diamond firms, after they had failed to merge into one as directed by the Mines ministry.

The second school of thought, tied to the first, raised questions of how possible it was for that amount of money to go missing, saying there was no way Zimbabwe could have generated $15 billion from diamond revenue considering the volumes and cost of local gems.

The third and most vociferous school concluded that Mugabe had let the cat out of the bag and should, therefore, fall on his sword, as he had admitted that $15 billion had gone missing under his watch.

It is trite to mention that $15 billion is a lot of money and leaders across the world have resigned for much less.

Whatever Mugabe’s intentions were when he mentioned the missing $15 billion, the reality is the revelation has become a double-edged sword for him and will remain a contentious issue for long.

While the government has all, but shut down all the diamond mining companies, there has been a groundswell of public anger over the missing money, which could have all but improved Zimbabwe’s fortunes overnight, literally.

Comedians, protesters and actors are all having their say about the missing money and they will not go away until they get answers — which may not be forthcoming.

Mugabe inadvertently gave the opposition a rallying point and a campaign issue going into the next elections and the Thursday demonstration by the MDC-T shows that Zanu PF’s adversaries will milk the issue of the missing money for all its worth.

The MDC-T have always been accused of being wafer thin when it comes to campaign issues, relying on the tired “Mugabe must go” slogan, but here Zanu PF have presented them with a perfect gift and even if the 2018 election becomes about a single-issue, the opposition can use the missing $15 billion to punish Mugabe.

We are not saying Mugabe should not have come out clean about the missing money, but as long as no one is arrested, fired or made to account for the $15 billion, then the President may have shot himself in the foot.

The only way Mugabe can salvage this situation is by firing anyone implicated in the scandal and allowing the police to investigate and arrest even his top ministers, anything other than that would be seen as condoning what many already see as grand theft and the rape of the country.


  • comment-avatar
    kalulu 6 years ago

    Whilst I do not like Mugabe mostly for destroying the country I wish he could remain in power a little bit longer. My reason for this is because of his age he is no longer in full control of his faculties such that the cues for hiding secrets appear to have dwindled.

    Mugabe has since disclosed about three significant events which he should normally not disclosed.

    Firstly he disclosed that Tsvangirai won the 2008 by 78%.

    Secondly he disclosed the disappearance of US15 billion, of which he is an accomplice and in a normal democratic society should have long been called to account or would be facing impeachment.

    Thirdly he has disclosed that the security including the army, police and CIO have always played significant role in rigging and other bloody and dirty tactics for Mugabe to remain in power illegally and unconstituitionally.

    At this rate very soon he will disclose the mysteries around Chitepo, Tongogara, Mujuru (he has already made hints on why he hated him before he died), Border Gezi, Eliiot Manyika and many others including the whereabouts of Itai Dzamara.

    Just wait and see what happens if he remains in power.

  • comment-avatar

    There are many connected to the missing 15 billion. There is however one fact the President is also involved. The whole system is corrupt.

    It is true that Zimbabwe does have all the resources to rise again but the worst enemy is the a corrupt group elected by the President. If the President is not part of corruption, then punitive measures should be taken by He himself first. But what happens the corrupt ministers are protected and reelected!!!