Mpofu testimony reveals problems in diamond mining

via Mpofu testimony reveals problems in diamond mining | SW Radio Africa July 30, 2014 by Tererai Karimakwenda

Zimbabwe’s former minister of mines Obert Mpofu has admitted under oath that he ran the country’s diamonds sector alone for a period of four months, after firing the entire board when he took office back in 2009.

Mpofu also revealed shocking details of how there were no minutes taken during meetings with potential investors in that period, meaning there is no official record of what happened and only his personal notes exist as evidence.

Mpofu at the time ran the government’s Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), which oversaw all diamond mining in the country.

The wealthy minister is testifying in a fraud case currently at the High Court, where the director of Core Mining, Lovemore Kurotwi, is co-accused with former ZMDC chief Dominic Mubaiwa, of “misrepresenting facts” in a $2 billion merger of the two firms.

The merger created the now shut down Canadile Mining in Chiadzwa and Mpofu is alleged to have demanded a $10 million dollar bribe to help facilitate the deal. But he has denied the allegations and reportedly boasted that he is too rich to solicit bribes.

As the accusations go, Mpofu was quoted as having said: “Rangu basa ndapedza chindipai mari/cut yangu”, meaning “I have done my job now give me my money”.

Responding to cross-examination by Kurotwi’s lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, Mpofu would not be drawn to explain why he had fired the ZMDC board. He simply replied that he had the power to do so as Minister and had broken no laws.

Political analyst Bekithemba Mhlanga said he was not surprised by Mpofu’s testimony, but was concerned at the lack of expertise and professionalism in how the country is currently being run. This is especially rampant at public institutions, most of which are failing.

“One is actually taken aback that a single individual was in a position to make decisions of such grave consequence for Zimbabwe’s economic well-being” Mhlanga said.

Back in 2010, Mpofu told a parliamentary committee that he had not followed proper procedure in licensing Canadile and Mbada Diamonds, claiming government would have lost much needed revenue if the opportunity was lost.

He also admitted that he was aware of “shady” business dealings by some of the directors of Canadile and Mbada and suggested that all diamond investors were crooked and that this was a worldwide trend.

The trial of Kurotwi and Mubaiwa has dragged on since 2009, with Mpofu implicated in fraudulent dealings by the accused. But the powerful minister appears to be untouchable, confirming suspicions that a number of top government chefs are involved as they also profited from illegal diamond deals.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 3
  • comment-avatar
    KIBBS 6 years ago

    Mbafoon needs to show us exactly how he made his wealth? He is obviously of at best average intelligence and blatantly shows no business acumen whatsoever. Therefore we believe that his wealth was looted from us The People. Overweight bootlicking prick has a lot to answer for. Wonder how he sleeps at night, ignorance is bliss. Blind self serving indulgence is just that “Blind”. His day is coming and it is not too far away as his negligence extends to his lack of personal health care. There are many waiting to have some words in the hereafter, where his wealth will mean squat!!

  • comment-avatar

    I am surprised if there any one who still think they were problems at Marange mines l thought this was common knowledge. We should be caning culprits now.

  • comment-avatar
    Mukanya 6 years ago

    “He also admitted that he was aware of “shady” business dealings by some of the directors of Canadile and Mbada and suggested that all diamond investors were crooked and that this was a worldwide trend” and for four months he ran single handed the ZMDC operations, thus fully integrating himself in the “shady deals”, which are the source of his stinking wealth… PICK UP THE SENSE AND LOCK UP THE LOOTER Cde/Mr JUDGE to show the law muscle of this country, if it still exists.