via Tomana speaks on Masimirembwa | The Financial Gazette by Clemence Manyukwe 26 Sep 2013
THE Attorney General (AG) Johannes Tomana has said his office is treating the US$6 million diamond scandal seriously and is waiting for law enforcement agents to conclude their work before due process can take its course, depending on the findings.
The AG’s reaction comes at a time when the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) has said former Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) chairperson, Goodwills Masimirembwa was never rehabilitated following his de-registration after squandering clients’ money.
Masimirembwa was fingered last week by President Robert Mugabe as having received a US$6 million bribe from a Ghanaian investor, but the former ZMDC chairperson has since said he is innocent.
President Mugabe said former mines and mining development minister Obert Mpofu, who now heads the Transport Ministry and Tomana, met the Ghanaian investor in the United States where Masimirembwa failed to give a convincing answer.
Mpofu declined to comment when contacted this week, referring all questions to Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa who could not be reached immediately.
In an interview this week, Tomana said he could not give details on the matter as it was before the police adding that he conducts his job in a non-partisan manner.
“We are taking the matter seriously and we are waiting for other stakeholders to do their work,” he said.
He warned those sensationalising the matter in their reportage or seeking to influence the outcome saying they would be committing an offence.
This is not the first time that Masimirembwa, a lawyer by profession, has found himself in trouble over other people’s funds as he was previously deregistered by the LSZ on grounds that he had swindled clients.
On Monday, LSZ president Lloyd Mhishi told The Financial Gazette that Masimirembwa’s previous bid to be re-admitted into the practice hit a snag as the society was of the view that he had not been rehabilitated.
“Upon receipt of his request for re-admission, the council of the LSZ directed the executive secretary to seek the views of the profession as is standard procedure. It is important to note that objections were then received even from members of the public,” said Mhishi.
“A number of objections were made and on various grounds. Eventually, when the council of the LSZ sat to determine the issue, council felt that Mr Masimirembwa had not demonstrated sufficiently that he had been rehabilitated.”
Mhishi said the LSZ filed court papers opposing the Mabvuku/Tafara ZANU-PF losing candidate’s re-admission into practice.
Despite the LSZ’s position, government went on to appoint Masimirembwa to positions of influence at the National Incomes and Pricing Commission, the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe and ZMDC
This week, the LSZ said their position was that Masimirembwa was appointed to these public bodies after the appointing authority took into account considerations within their discretion.
It said what the LSZ considers for re-admission and what that appointing authority takes into account were different issues.
Masimirembwa has denied any wrongdoing.
“I deny the allegations and I have stated that I am innocent. There have been many allegations, false allegations. Let the police do their work without being impeded by what I say,” said Masimirembwa