Zimbabwe Lawmaker Dies After Missing Gem Revenue Report

Edward Chindori-Chininga, chairman of a parliamentary committee that said tens of millions of dollars of revenue paid to the government by a diamond company is missing, has died in a car crash.

Chindori-Chininga, a lawmaker for the President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front in northern Zimbabwe, died late on June 19 when his Jeep Cherokee collided with a tree at a T-junction in northern Zimbabwe, Jones Mashakada, who farms corn and cattle in Guruve South said in a telephone interview today. The death was also reported by the state-controlled Chronicle newspaper.

“What is strange is that the airbag didn’t work and the windscreen isn’t broken,” Mashakada, who says he saw the vehicle, said.

The June 12 report from the committee led by Chindori-Chininga said that while national budgets this year and last showed that the Treasury had received $82 million in revenue from all diamond companies, Mbada Diamonds Ltd., one of four companies operating on the eastern Marange field, had paid government $293 million since it started mining in 2009. The other companies refused to give the inter-parliamentary committee information, the committee said.

“There are very serious discrepancies between what government receives from the sector and what the diamond mining companies claim to have remitted to Treasury,” the committee said.

Earlier Crash

Charity Charamba, a spokeswoman for the police, didn’t answer calls made to her phone. The state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp. cited Ephraim Nyakata, a police superintendent, as confirming the death.

In 2011, Chindori-Chininga was suspended from Zimbabwe’s Constitution Select Committee, known as COPAC, by his party after being accused of leaking information damaging Zanu-PF, Didymus Mutasa, the party’s administration secretary said at the time.

Chindori-Chininga, a former mines minister, survived a vehicle accident in March 2012 near Mazowe, north of the capital, Harare. He was 58 at the time of his death, according to Bulawayo24, a Zimbabwean internet news site.

“We will be meeting to discuss comrade Chindori-Chininga’s hero status today before giving recommendations to the politburo” of Zanu-PF, Dickson Mafios, Zanu-PF chairman for Mashonaland Central, in which Guruve was situated, said in an interview from Harare, the capital. “He was a loyal comrade.”