HomeNewsZMDC holding ‘missing’ Gye Nyame diamonds

ZMDC holding ‘missing’ Gye Nyame diamonds


HARARE — Diamonds worth an unspecified value belonging to closed diamond mine Gye Nyame Resources, which were reported missing in June, have been located at the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), The Source has established.

Gye Nyame Resources, a joint venture between the State-owned ZMDC and Bill Minerals, represented by Ghanaian businessman William Ato Essien, had its licence revoked earlier this year due to insolvency and failure to adhere to environmental requirements.

The company, which was granted mining concessions in Marange in 2011, was subsequently placed under provisional liquidation on March 26 at the behest of some creditors. It was then placed under final judicial management on June 25.

During the June meeting, the company’s judicial manager, Winsley Militala, told creditors that he could not locate the company’s diamonds, which employees claimed had been sent to the Minerals Marketing Corporation (MMCZ).

Militala said the MMCZ had said it did not have possession of the parcel in question, which he intended to sell to pay administration expenses and security personnel at the mine.

However, ZMDC acting general manager Wilson Chinzou confirmed the State firm was in possession of the diamonds in a July 21 letter to Militala and seen by The Source yesterday.

“Please be advised that this corporation is in possession of the parcel weighing 0,303 kilogrammes. Find attached the copy of the shipment details and signatories,” part of the letter reads.

Militala declined to comment on the matter, saying issues relating to Gye Nyame would be communicated at the next creditors’ meeting at the High Court on a date that is yet to be announced.

Apart from the parcel at ZMDC and the resource underground, the company lost all its other assets to some creditors who attached them before the mine was placed under judicial management.

As at September 31 2013, the company’s assets were estimated to be worth $6,6 million while its liabilities totalled $4,4 million.

At the last meeting, creditors presented fresh claims totalling over $5 million. Among them were Metbank, which is owed $1,9 million; the Zimbabwe Republic Police at $755 000 and workers over $500 000.

Gye Nyame came under the spotlight last year when President Robert Mugabe accused former ZMDC chairman Godwills Masimirembwa of soliciting a bribe amounting to $6 million from the company’s Ghanaian investors.

Mugabe eventually recanted, saying it was the Ghanaian investor who had misled Zimbabwean authorities.

It is alleged that the Ghanaian investor injected only $8 million out of an agreed $110 million into the business, with further claims that no due diligence was carried out ascertain his company’s financial capabilities.

The major shareholders in Gye Nyame are ZMDC, which owns 50%, the Zimbabwe Republic Police Trust (20%), Bill Minerals represented by Ghanaian William Ato Essien (24%), and Dantor, a company representing the interests of local shareholders, Itai Munyeza and Blessmore Chanakira, with a 6% shareholding.

— The Source

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