Former ZMDC chief in fresh scandal claims

via Former ZMDC chief in fresh scandal claims | SW Radio Africa  by Alex Bell on Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The former chief of the Zimbabwe Mining and Development Corporation (ZMDC), who is already at the centre of a multi-million dollar fraud probe, now faces more scandal claims.

The fresh claims are that Godwills Masimirembwa bussed in ZANU PF youths from Mabvuku-Tafara constituency in Harare, to work in a security firm that serviced firms in the Chiadzwa diamond fields. It has also emerged that Masimirembwa engaged the same security firm, National Eye, to provide security services at his farm in Beatrice.

National Eye is reportedly owned by Tapson Madzivire, who told the NewsDay newspaper that apart from Masimirembwa, scores of top ZANU PF officials had approached him to employ party youths during the election campaign period this year.

Masimirembwa meanwhile said there was nothing sinister about the security arrangement with National Eye.

“The crime is that I just tried to help a few youths get employment,” Masimirembwa told NewsDay.

“I only referred less than 15 youths to Madzivire and I am made to understand that most of them have been fired due to indiscipline. For security at my farm, I also hire services from National Eye, like any other clients.”

The government has set up a probe team to investigate Masimirembwa for allegedly demanding a bribe of more than $6 million from a Ghanaian firm which sought to invest in diamond mining.

Robert Mugabe last month publicly made the allegations against Masimirembwa and the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (ZACC) is understood to have swiftly launched an investigation. The police’s role in investigating the claims meanwhile has been questioned, as the police service is a 20% shareholder of the firm the ZMDC and the Ghanaian were involved in.

According to the state-controlled Herald newspaper, Mines Minister Walter Chidakwa told parliament last week that he has instructed the relevant authority to get as much information as possible on the issue.