obert mpofu 01-11-10.jpgThe Ministry of Mines and Mining Development has withdrawn the Eastern Highlands geophysical survey tender following revelations of alleged tempering of the tender document by officials from the Ministry of Finance.

The multi-million dollar Eastern Highlands Survey Project, whose objective is to quantify as well as qualify the extent of mineral wealth in the diamond-rich region, has been shelved pending investigations by the police into allegations of document tempering.

Mines and Mining Development Minister, Cde Obert Mpofu confirmed the cancellation of the tender after it emerged that some sections of the tender document were tempered with.

Information gathered by ZBC News reveals that there were deliberate modifications made on the tender document particularly the section dealing with the Acceptance and Rejection of the Bids.

The original document submitted gave the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development the right to accept or reject all bids without obligation to inform the tender of the reasons.

The section was altered to give the Minister of Finance the power to reject or accept the bids.

The Ministry of Finance in particular Minister Tendai Biti has in the past tried to have control of the country’s diamonds and other minerals under the failed and condemned Diamond Bill.