The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Indigenisation, Youth and Economic Empowerment has summoned Brainworks Capital to appear before it tomorrow to explain how it got a lucrative multi-million dollar indigenisation consultancy contract at Zimplats.
by XOLISANI NCUBE
The local investment company was in 2013 caught up in controversy over its role in the implementation of the Zimplats indigenisation plan, among other corporates.
The company, which was then suspected to have links with then Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere, was awarded a contract to do consultancy work on the platinum producer’s $970 million indigenisation compliance deal under unclear circumstances.
The deal is now under probe by the Justice Mayor Wadyajena-chaired Parliamentary committee.
The committee, according to the letter sent to Brainworks, wants to understand how the George Manyere-led firm got the contract without going to tender amid fears that there could have been some underhand dealings between Kasukuwere and the firm.
“As part of its oversight role, the above-mentioned committee is inviting Brainworks Capital to a meeting scheduled for Thursday 18 June 2015 at 10am in the Senate Chamber ground floor, Parliament Building,” the invitation read.
“The purpose of the meeting is for you to brief the committee on Brainworks’ involvement in the implementation of the Indigenisation Act and how the involvement was awarded.”
In 2013, Brainworks Capital reportedly demanded $17 million as fees for the consultancy job it had done for Zimplats, but the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed platinum producer refused to pay saying government through the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB) should since they were the ones who engaged the firm.
Zimplats also stated that they could not be expected to pay Brainworks since the company rendered its services to the NIEEB and the Zimbabwe government.
Brainworks became a subject of bitter recriminations both in and outside government for reportedly advising on nearly all the Indigenisation deals reached between the government and foreign mining companies then without going to tender.
Apart from the Zimplats deal, Brainworks reportedly said it offered consultancy services on the $550 million Mimosa mine compliance plan, Anglo Platinum’s $142 million deal for its Unki mine as well as transactions involving Canada-based gold producer Caledonia Mining and South Africa’s Pretoria Portland Cement.