PRESIDENT of the Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation, Trynos Nkomo, has challenged Vice-President Joice Mujuru to stand up in court and deny knowing him.
Report by Albert Ncube
The VP had submitted an affidavit before Gwanda magistrate Sheila Nanzombe swearing that she does not know Nkomo.
Nkomo, who is facing charges of criminal insult (impairing the dignity of the Vice-President) or alternatively lying to a public officer after he allegedly misled police about his mining operations claimed the VP knew him well.
He said he was surprised that Mujuru was denying any knowledge of him as he had invited her to officiate at the launch of the Mining Mechanisation Programme at Bunny Luck Mine in 2011.
“She knows me very well,” said Nkomo.
“If she was here I would put that across to her. Maybe when she sees my face she will remember me. I went to her office and she directed me to hand the original documents to her lawyers and all this was done with her consent and directive,” said Nkomo.
Allegations against Nkomo are that on May 27, 2013, detectives from the Minerals Unit visited Bunny Luck Mine in West Nicholson to investigate allegations that Nkomo had been illegally externalising gold.
They requested Nkomo to produce his mining certificates and trading records with Fidelity Refiners, but he only produced photocopies saying the original documents were with Mujuru with whom he claimed to be in business partnership.
However, further investigations revealed that Mujuru had nothing to do with Nkomo’s mining operations, leading to his arrest.
In an affidavit produced in court, Mujuru denied knowing him adding that “such utterances by Nkomo are malicious and tend to demean the status of the Vice-President”.
Nkomo denies the charges arguing he informed the detectives that the originals were with Mujuru’s lawyers and not the Vice-President herself.
He, however, refused to divulge the lawyers’ names saying he may have to consult with the Vice-President first.
He was remanded out of custody to October 14.
Blessing Gundani appeared for the State while Thompson Mabhikwa of Mabhikwa and Partners represented Nkomo.