ZANU PF minister accused of ‘dishonesty’ in mining trust case

Former Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasakuwere signing documents with Dave Brown from Zimplats

By Alex Bell
SW Radio Africa
07 April 2014

Former Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere is again facing accusations of dishonesty and lying, in the ongoing probe into the failed Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust.

The Ownership Trust was launched by Robert Mugabe in 2012, with a ‘pledge’ of US$50 million to be used for development projects in Marange. The multimillion dollar cash injection was allegedly the result of ‘contributions’ by the five mining firms operating at the Chiadzwa diamond mines.

Minister Kasukuwere was one of the architects of the deal, and during the Trust launch he presented Mugabe with a cheque for $50 million.

But two years later it has emerged that out of the ‘promised’ amount, only $400,000 was remitted, with officials from the mining firms distancing themselves from claims that they had pledged $10 million each. Some officials reportedly said they only pledged $1.5 million each, while others professed complete ignorance of the existence of the Trust.

Kasukuwere has since produced “evidence” and the agreements he made with the mining firms. These letters, according to the Minister, were written to then Mines Minister Obert Mpofu and the Mbada Diamonds boss, indicating that the companies in Marange were each to contribute $10 million.

But Kasukuwere’s successor Francis Nhema has since told a parliamentary committee that there is no proof of the letters.

“I have checked with all the files at the ministry. It seems I cannot locate them,” Nhema said last week.

He added: “I have even asked officials whether the letters are there. The problem is that there is no reference, no date stamp to authenticate the letters. I have checked with many files I don’t know if they are there.”

Minister Nhema also insisted last week that the Marange mining firms (and others who pledged to donate to the nationwide Community Share Trusts), violated a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ with the government. He said that mining companies operating in Zimbabwe had made the pledge, as part of the ZANU PF ‘empowerment’ initiative.

Farai Maguwu, the Director of the Centre for Natural Resource Governance, said on Monday that the Trust saga “vindicates what we have been saying that the mining sector has nothing to do with benefitting the real people on the ground.”

“I’m happy these companies did not pay money into those Trusts, because clearly the money was targeted for looting. The communities were not involved at all in the management of the Trust, and it is clear that the money was never going to reach them,” Maguwu told SW Radio Africa.

The board of the Marange-Zimunya Trust has already faced serious questions from legislators, particularly regarding the spending of $45,000 in the last seven months. Although whatever money given to the board is supposed to be spent on community development, the Trustees have admitted spending over US$17,000 on board fees, about US$14,500 on travelling and subsistence and about US$13,000 on training.

“This case has opened up a can of worms, the Pandora’s box, and gives us an insight into the nature of the extractive sector in Zimbabwe, which does not serve communities in any way,” Maguwu said.

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2 Responsesto “ZANU PF minister accused of ‘dishonesty’ in mining trust case”

  1. succuba says:

    A Zanu PF official accused of lying…. never

  2. Yepec says:

    This Article is not limited to Kasukuwere (former CIO agent), alone but is all Zanu PF cadres and the Zimbabwean society at large. You are being invited to be your own judge and jury on Zanu PF Party and what is happening in Zimbabwe under its stewardchip.

    Looting is based on corruption and is the source of what is wrong with the Zimbabwean politics and the helplessness feeling in the public. Simply said, “looting is not limited to “Marange diamonds” and is the number one in that once a beautiful country.

    To start with, the existence of a public body provides a free resource for the criminals to loot and lends itself to more corruption followed by more looting, ad infinitum. Do readers really believe that Zanu PF, is not aware of corruption, what it is doing to Zimbabwe and that the Party does not know how to stop it?

    For instance, who ever believed that even Parastatals which are literally broke and depend on handouts from a broke Government, can be the source of looting the public body? The CEOs, including those from the Municipalities have found a way to loot the public with Tomana’s (head of the Prosecuting Authority) blessing, in this criminal activity.

    Finally, think very hard and be independent of whatever one has heard in the past. But every reader must come up with an answer to the following question, ” why and how did Robert Mugabe, Obert Mpofu, Ignatius Chombo and Phillip Chiyangwa (a former BSAP constable), became some of the richest people in the World”?

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