ZMDC boss freed before plea

Zvikomborero Parafini, Court Reporter

Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company former chief executive officer Morris Mpofu who was facing allegations of recommending a blacklisted convict to buy diamonds from government’s Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe had his charges withdrawn before plea yesterday.

Special unit prosecutor Venerandah Munyoro advised the presiding magistrate Hosea Mujaya that upon consideration of the information she had acquired from MMCZ, she discovered that the State had no case.

“The matter was referred to this court for trial in August and on the last date, I requested more time to get information from MMCZ and after consideration of that information, we decided to withdraw the charges before plea because there’s no sufficient evidence to secure a conviction, and in the event that the police get that information, we will summon him to court,” said Munyoro.

Mpofu was being represented by Advocate Givemore Madzoke.


Allegations were that Mpofu allegedly recommended Robai Hussein and Youseff Osseily who were blacklisted under the Kimberly Certification Scheme following their arrest on October 20, 2008.

Hussein and Osseily were arrested in India where they were caught smuggling 3 605.73 carats of rough Zimbabwean diamonds valued at about US$900 000.

Court heard the duo served four years in jail for the smuggling offence before being deported back to their countries of origin by the Indian government upon release.

Prosecutors allege that “on May 18, a meeting was convened between ZDIAM Private Ltd represented by its director Hussein and ZCDC representatives.”

It is alleged that on March 26 this year, Hussein attended a diamond tender at MMCZ representing a Lebanese Company, Diamond Cut where he bought three diamond parcels weighing 358.58 carats for US$258 224.66.

“Sometime in March this year, Mpofu, in the exercise of his duties, recommended Hussein to be allowed to buy diamonds from Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe knowing that he was blacklisted from dealing in diamonds,” read court papers.

It is the State’s case that Mpofu had no right to recommend Hussein who has a criminal record relating to smuggling of diamonds.