ZIMBABWE Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) chief executive Morris Bekezela Mpofu, who is facing criminal abuse of office charges, was yesterday freed on $2 000 bail.
Mpofu is being accused of recommending a blacklisted smuggling ex-convict to buy diamonds from the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ).
Harare magistrate Mrs Barbara Mateko ordered the release of Mpofu with the consent of the prosecution.
Mrs Mateko ordered Mpofu to surrender his passport and to report to the police twice a week.
She warned him against interfering with State witnesses and investigations.
Allegations against Mpofu arose on March 19 this year, after he recommended Robal Hussein to be allowed to buy diamonds from MMCZ.
Upon being recommended by Mpofu, Hussein on March 26 this year, attended a diamonds tender at MMCZ where he bought three diamond parcels weighing 358,58 carats for US$258 224.
He bought the diamonds on behalf of a company called Diamond Cut.
Investigations later revealed that Hussein had been blacklisted under the Kimberly certification scheme after being convicted by an Indian court for smuggling 3 605,73 carats of Zimbabwean rough diamonds in 2008.
The seized rough semi-polished and polished diamonds were confiscated by the Government of India.
Hussein and his accomplice Yousef Osseily were found guilty and sentenced to four years each in jail.
The two have since served the sentence. Such a discovery led to the arrest of Mpofu.
Mpofu will be back in court on June 18, for routine remand.
Mr Zivanai Macharaga represented the State while Mr Wilson Tatenda Manase of Manase and Manase appeared for Mpofu.