Minister of State for Manicaland Province Christopher Mushowe allegedly ordered Diamond Mining Company to deposit money into an account he provided, effectively sidestepping the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust launched by President Mugabe in 2012.
Environment Environment, Water and Climate Minister Saviour Kasukuwere
is accused of presenting a US$50 million false cheque to President
Mugabe at the launch of the trust.
It is also alleged that the five diamond mining companies operating
in Chiadzwa never pledged the US$50 million kitty presented when
President Mugabe launched toward the trust.
The firms were said to have pledged US$10 million each, but yesterday
they refuted the claim with some of them saying they had only pledged
US$1,5 million each while others professed complete ignorance of the
existence of the trust.
Minister Kasukuwere and the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation
are said to have instructed some of the mining companies to delay
disbursement of the money.
The firms are Mbada Diamonds, Marange Resources, Anjin Investments, Jinan and Diamond Mining Company.
The mining firms told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth,
Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment that the establishment of the
trust was mired in confusion and disorganisation.
Gokwe-Nembudziya MP, Cde Justice Wadyajena (Zanu-PF) chairs the
committee. Anjin Investment board member Mr Munyaradzi Machacha said
they had always worked with Minister Mushowe.
“The trust has not approached us. Minister Mushowe is the one we have
been talking to. He was the contact person. He gave us the bank
account. We have not had any meeting with Marange-Zimunya Community
“All the correspondence we have had is through the Minister of State
for Manicaland because he claims he has a working relationship with the
Marange-Zimunya Community Trust. We have not had any business meeting
with the trust,” said Mr Machacha.
Mr Machacha also claimed that Minister Kasukuwere, who was then Youth
Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister, advised
them that fulfilling the pledges to the trust could be done over five
As such, he said they did not see the need to urgently fulfill the pledge considering that they had also hit a hard rock.
“When we made that pledge (US$1,5 million), we were made to believe
that we could make payments over time. Minister Kasukuwere gave
indications that we could do so over a period of five years.”
Quizzed by Cde Wadyajena if they had misled President Mugabe and
presented a falsified cheque, Mr Machacha said: “He (Minister
Kasukuwere) knew that there was no money at all. It was just a dummy
DMC board chairperson, Brigadier-General (Retired) Ezekiel Zabanyana
said ZMDC never gave them a go ahead to donate toward the trust.
“This is where we lacked the strategic plan or some means to ensure
this was implemented. We did approach ZMDC and as our boss they said
let’s leave that,” he said.
DMC general manager Mr Ramzi Malik also said they only pledged US$1,5 million.
“We never pledged US$10 million. We asked ZMDC to go and identify
areas of major importance and give each company the programme which will
take the contributions to. ZMDC went and did that exercise but never
came back to us.
“We need engagement and a co-ordinated effort. Let’s not just throw
figures out there. Let’s meet and discuss figures before we go to the
press,” he said.
Mbada Diamonds board chairperson Dr Robert Mhlanga said they were
never part of the trust but donated US$200 000 out of “courtesy”.
“I would like to initially highlight that Mbada Diamonds has
contributed US$200 000. However, Mbada Diamonds has never made a pledge
to the share scheme. There was no formal communication soliciting for a
pledge from Mbada Diamonds. Not even informal. We have not been
contacted to make a pledge as a company,” said Dr Mhlanga.
“In fact, there is a lot of miscommunication which has taken place
around this thing concerning the Marange-Zimunya Trust. To say there is
anything organised no! Because if there was anything formal, we would
have been advised by our parent ministry we then would have acted
accordingly. We 100 percent have not made any pledge,” he emphasised.
Jinan marketing manager, Mr Enock Moyo said their company was not represented at the July 2012 meeting where pledges were made.
The parliamentary committee, however, booted out the team whom they
felt were unqualified to comment on issues concerning the company after
Mr Moyo said senior managers were busy elsewhere.
Marange Resources acting CEO Mr Mark Mabhudhu said his firm availed
US$200 000 toward the trust but expressed willingness to contribute more
if their financial position improved.
Trustees to the scheme last week alleged there was interference by
politicians in Manicaland in the trust’s affairs. They said this
resulted in the diamond mining companies not fulfilling their pledges.