via I only want Gye Nyame to work, Mnaba – DailyNews Live 20 SEPTEMBER 2013
MANSON Mnaba, the Gye Nyame Resources (GNR) chairman, says he is “undaunted” by the $6 million bribery scandal around Chiadzwa’s fifth-registered diamond miner, saying his major concern was “to see productivity” at the troubled firm.
While the Harare businessman could not be drawn on the saga – precipitated by President Robert Mugabe’s shock remarks that his public officials were busy in some funny money transactions this week – the Arosume Property Development chief executive said his sole aim was to resuscitate the mine.
“I have no desire to go into (the merits and demerits of) that case. I will also not comment beyond what the president said, as l believe he has more information or been adequately briefed on the matter,” Mnaba told the Daily News this week.
“As far as l am concerned, my desire is to see the resumption of operations at the mine and for the benefit of the nation,” the property developer said.
Crucially, though, Mnaba noted that the mine has always been undercapitalised and it would seem that the joint venture (JV) partners had not performed to their expectations.
And as pressure mounts on ex-Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) chairman Goodwills Masimirembwa, and others, focus and attention is also turning to William Ato Essien – until now a non-complainant in the bribery scandal – and how his Bill Minerals has failed to inject the agreed $30 million capital outlay.
According to the JV agreement, the money was sufficient enough to bring the mine to optimum production levels and yet a measly $8 million had been pumped into the venture.
Having been appointed in March, Mnaba’s board has not only inherited several operational problems dating back three years ago, but has had to scrounge around for resources to keep operations going.
However, this has not been adequate enough to keep creditors away and calm restive workers.
According to information at hand, it would appear problems between Masimirembwa and the external group arose after the ZMDC put Essien’s group on a 30-day notice for a review of the partnership agreement due to funding delays, and other operational problems.
As things stand, there is a school of thought and thinking in government circles that the GNR concession must be realigned in terms of its shareholding and in view of the Ghanaian partner or firm’s inability to fully finance the project.
This, sources said, would give new impetus for fresh investment into the venture, which has a massive potential.