HomeLocal NewsKurotwi trial takes new twist

Kurotwi trial takes new twist

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The trial of Core Mining director Lovemore Kurotwi and former Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) chief executive Dominic Mubaiwa accused of causing potential investment loss of $2 billion to the government took yet another twist yesterday after ZMDC board member Alvin Dumisani Ncube disclosed they had failed to establish Core Mining operations in South Africa.

Ncube, together with Advocate Farai Mutamangira, were appointed by Minister of Mines and Mining Development Obert Mpofu to investigate the joint venture between Marange Resources and Core Mining following a due diligence report compiled by the ZMDC.

But Ncube told Justice Chinembiri Bhunu that when he travelled to South Africa with Mutamangira to establish Core Mining’s operations at Vaalbos, they did not get inside the premises except speaking to security personnel at the main gate before returning home.

He said the ZMDC due diligence report had been presented and deliberated upon by the board before it was adopted and ratified.

Ncube told the court that none of the ZMDC board members who were part of the delegation that initially went on a due diligence mission accompanied them to places they had visited.

Asked by Kurotwi’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa how they managed to identify the actual places without being led, Ncube said they simply travelled to a place where mining operations were taking place.

Ncube further told the court that the ZMDC board never raised any queries about Core Mining’s operations although he maintained there were misrepresentations made that Israeli firm Beny Steinmetz Group Resources (BSGR) was Core Mining’s parent company.

But Mtetwa indicated to Ncube that there was nowhere in the exhibits before the court where it was mentioned that BSGR would partner ZMDC as Core Mining’s parent firm, contrary to the State assertion.

Under cross-examination by Mubaiwa’s lawyer, Advocate Lewis Uriri, Ncube admitted that Mubaiwa as the chief executive officer was answerable to the ZMDC board and therefore could not have done anything independently.

On the question of BSGR’s involvement in the partnership between Core Mining and Marange, Uriri produced correspondence between Mpofu and BSGR which stated that the latter wanted to remain anonymous on political grounds, and had set conditions for their involvement with Core Mining.

Uriri said Mubaiwa later alerted Mpofu on the problems of dealing with anonymous companies arguing there were possibilities of misrepresentations.

Ncube also told Justice Bhunu that Core Mining brought mining equipment which was still being used in diamond mining by Marange Resources, and on average the firm was declaring about
$3 million from the current operations.

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