Obert Mpofu cornered to declare assets

FORMER Mines minister Obert Mpofu, was yesterday cornered to declare his assets and disclose how he acquired his wealth as he testified during the fraud trial of Core Mining and Mineral Resources director Lovemore Kurotwi.

CHARLES LAITON
SENIOR COURT REPORTER

Kurotwi’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa made the request after Mpofu had earlier claimed that he was “too rich to accept a bribe” from Kurotwi and his co-accused Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) chief executive Dominic Mubaiwa.

Kurotwi and Mubaiwa are accusing the minister of demanding a $10 million bribe to facilitate a joint venture deal between Core Mining and government-owned Marange Resources.

Mpofu told High Court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu that he acquired his wealth through hard work as managing director of Bulawayo firm Tregers, where he had some shares and from a reward he received from government as a whistleblower over the Willowgate Scandal in the late 1980s.

“I have been in government since 1980 when I was a minister until 1985. I then left and joined Tregers as MD from 1985 to 1989. I then left and started my own business. On the Sandura Commission issue, I was given a golden handshake and I started acquiring properties, since then I have never looked back,” Mpofu said.

Asked to explain what type of businesses he was into and how much his empire was worth, Mpofu said: “That’s too personal, but I own two properties in Harare, number 2501 Greystone Park and 644 Borrowdale Brook. I also own York House in Bulawayo and another building along 9th Street, and in Victoria Falls I only have a warehouse and residential properties for employees.

“I will also mention that I am a farmer, and not just an ordinary farmer, but one of the biggest cattle ranchers in the country with over 4 000 cattle. I also lease ranches to Cold Storage Company (CSC),” he added.

Mpofu also said he operated a business called Treble and Kays and once owned a foreign exchange bureau in the 1990s which he later sold to CFX.

As the cross-examination continued, Mtetwa asked the former Minister of Mines whether Israeli firm BSGR indicated to him that it would inject $2 billion into the diamond mining venture on behalf of Core Mining.

Mtetwa further asked Mpofu what became of Core Mining’s dividend of over $3 million.

Mpofu said he did not know what became of the $3 million, saying ZMDC was in a better position to answer.

Mtetwa also asked the minister to explain what became of the over $10 million which went missing from Canadile’s account just after the disbanding of the joint venture and he said: “It’s absurd because that amount can’t just disappear from the bank; ask the bank, it should know what happened. But I don’t think there was such amount in that account.”

Pressed further to explain the disappearance of diamond stock worth over $140 million, Mpofu almost lost his temper and replied: “That’s nonsense, I am easily irritated by ignorant and childish questions, and you are misrepresenting information.”

The trial is expected to continue as the head of the commercial crimes unit in the Office of the Prosecutor-General, Chris Mutangadura, takes to the witness stand on behalf of the State.

23 Comments

  1. Thumbs up Beatrice… Amai vanorova basa ava. Jealous down.

  2. Mu court hamudi hasha,in a normal country you will be convicted coz umenge uchitadza kupa ma answers anoratidza kuti hauna mhosva.

  3. what is happening here? thanks beatrice. i am praying for you becoz somehow you are one in God’s plan for zimbabwe. i believe after this a few more eyes of the staunch zanu supporters will be opened as God goes forward to heal our land.

  4. Well Done, The same must be done to Chombo.

    1. These looters have destroyed a country. Their greed knows no bounds and they are shameless. They make other dictatorships look like amateurs.

  5. Let’s use our brains a little..let’s suppose he has 20 properties in whole of Zimbabwe and charges $2000 for rental in a month $40,000 that is considering everyone pays up..and compare that to $10 million surely having properties does not equate to one being rich, cz the turnover may not be that high this is excluding expenses incurred to do business like paying employees, paying electricity and water and daily upkeep etc..Our clever minister must state hw much he got from Sandura commission or was it a bribe t keep quiet because we remember nothing ever happened afterwards..if bribed how much dd he get cz property in borrowdale costs..$250,000 nowadays..

  6. vaka looter avo including the 4000 beasts dzakatorerwa varungu idzo . go on Beatrice yu are a star shining for zimbos

  7. Beatrice ramba wakafaka pressure.Dumbuguru ari patight. Acharidza muridzo mucourt nokuti hasha dzichapera onyatsopfava zvake. Dumbu richaserera. He was given money for whistle-blowing on the Willowvale scandal. What about the Tsholosholo summit where he also blew the whistle? He seemed to be on the right place at the right time but on the diamonds’ case initially he was on the right place when he was appointed minister of mines but became too greedy. Before being appointed minister of mines, he did not have a big tummy because he did not have that much.I recall Dumbuguru claiming that he borrowed one million american dollars from CBZ which he used to acquire the same properties he now claim to have acquire through business deals/operations. Yeah, when one lies one forgets the previous lies. The truth is Dumbuguru looted diamonds. If necessary, records can be checked to establish when the properties were acquired. In Shona there is a saying, ‘chisi hachiyere musi wacharimwa’. Allied Bank acquired by the diamonds money is almost dead and buried and the mines ministry was taken away. What goes around comes around.The chicken are coming to roost.

  8. im looking for a small car rent to buy $200/week
    call 0772 239 258

    1. Vana Obert of the ” most obedient son” infamy. You are not a clever criminal because if you were you should have stashed all the millions you stole and then waited for a sunny day to enjoy them. You thought people were stupid and got this thing in your mind that as minister you were above reproach and could do anything with impunity. Now that we know that you stole our heritage we demand all our money back. The cattle you boast about you know you stole some of them form whites in the Umguza farming area and also used the diamond loot to buy some .

  9. I quote…Mpofu almost lost his temper and replied: “That’s nonsense, I am easily irritated by ignorant and childish questions….unquote.
    The disappearence of 10(TEN) MILLION US DOLLARS is an ignorant and childish question? The whole court proceedings must be a waste of valuable time. He will not go to jail for obvious reasons but at least the truth will have been heard.

  10. Mpofu well done for your achievements never mind the jeoulous individuals

  11. the good thing is that after this obert will ask beatrice to stand for him as a lawyer. wow.

  12. The problem is that he is not alone and will not want to go alone. Ndiyani akauraya chininga?

  13. Buhlungu Siwela

    Besides being given money for whistleblowing, Obert was also given lots of moola for selling out his fellow ZAPU colleagues to ZANU PF. He defected to ZANU PF well before the unity agreement!

  14. WILLARD MUBVUMBI

    Zimbabwean ministers are above the law.

  15. This is just a sheer waste of time for everyone. We all know the truth & yet Mpofu will never be prosecuted anyway

  16. Beatrice you are one of the best lawyers in Zimbabwe. Keep it up Madam.

  17. Gonoh must also face the music now that she has failed to get the senatorial seat where she could be protected. I have never seen such a rich former CBZ

  18. Vese kusvika the highest rank ngavave answerable to their wealth nd bakpay taxes. freeze evrythng nd sell give vanotambura munyika.no freedom til we equal

  19. Hupenyu tichiri vapenyu

  20. Why put you advert for fish here…

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