By NATION REPORTER
THE Sugilite that was reported to have been stolen is in fact kept in some warehouse in Kabwe and it is not correct to insinuate that the precious gem had mysteriously gone missing, Paul Kabuswe has clarified.
Mr Kabuswe, the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources has stated that at no time did he claim that the Sugilite was stolen and that the police had been instructed to investigate the matter.
He said he had never given interview to any reporter alleging that the Sugilite had been stolen because the gem had never gone missing from the time it was impounded.
“The Sugilite that was impounded in Central Province is not lost. It is there and it is being kept in some warehouse in Kabwe. I have never said the Sugilite was stolen and I have never given an interview on this matter apart from in Parliament. In fact, I am the one to told the Minister of Central Province to raise a point of order on the matter. So, it is not correct that the Sugilite mysteriously went missing,” Mr Kabuswe said.
And Home Affairs and Internal Security Minister Jack Mwiimbu has also said no Sugilite was missing but that the impounded contraband was transferred in a secure container and secured in some place within Central Province. Mr Mwiimbu in parliament indicated that the Sugilite in Kabwe was under lock and key and was therefore safe and it was not possible that it could be stolen. He said that there was no need to raise alarm because the mineral which was impounded was in safe hands and not as alleged.
Mr Mwiimbu said the Provincial Joint Security Committee (PJSC) in central province checked and ensured that the Sugilite was secured.
Meanwhile, Binwell Mpundu, the Nkana Member of Parliament says in his facebook write-up, he never indicated or insinuated that the Sugilite at an estimated value of US$750 million had mysteriously vanished from police custody.
Mr Mpundu clarified that in his write-up, he only explained the quantity of the Sugilite that was impounded and tabulated its estimated value without ever insinuating that it had been stolen under the watch of the police.
“What I had posted on my facebook had nothing to do with the claims of the Sugilite being stolen from Police custody. I only wrote about the quantity of the precious mineral which I had estimated that about 14 tones had been impounded. I also made a calculation of the value of the 14 tons of the Sugilite…not that it had been stolen from police custody,” Mr Mpundu said.
By NATION REPORTER