Mine wrangle sucks VP’s son deeper

TWO businessmen implicated in a $10 million fraud case involving a gold mine in Chinhoyi have filed an application for discharge at the close of the State case and questioned involvement of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s son, Collins, in the matter.

BY CHARLES LAITON

The two men, Chinese national Zhou Haixi and Zimbabwean Tafirenyika Kambarami, pleaded not guilty to defrauding Chen Shaoliang and his daughter Chen Xiandong by allegedly taking over Eldorado Mine when they appeared before Chinhoyi regional magistrate Never Katiyo three weeks ago.

In his application, Haixi, through his lawyer Charles Chinyama, said he still maintained that one Charles Frederick Jones was a shareholder and director at Wenzhou Enterprises and that acting in his capacity, Jones agreed with Chen and his daughter to dispose of their entire shareholding in the firm to Haixi and Kambarami.

Chinyama, however, said part of Jones’ evidence while under cross-examination pertaining to his statement to the police did not appear in the court record “clearly pointing to the fact that the record in this matter is incomplete and has several items missing”.

“The complainant’s statement was signed by him and was also signed by Collins Mnangagwa. Whether Collins Mnangagwa was an interpreter secured by the police and on police payroll or an interpreter secured by the complainant and on complainant’s own payroll is an issue that was not addressed, but suffice to note that he remained in court during the entire proceedings,” Chinyama said.

Chinyama said, the act of disowning what is in the charge sheet and State outline by Chen and Jones killed the State case in the sense that both men were not credible witnesses.

“If anything, the complainant cannot blame the police for his statement, but he can only blame his own interpreter, Collin Mnangagwa as per his statement to the police . . . there is no evidence of the person who made misrepresentation to the Zimbabwe Investment Authority or of the misrepresentation itself ever being made,” Chinyama added.

The mine saga has since spilled into the High Court which recently ordered two senior lawyers representing the accused and the complainant to run their affairs pending the finalisation of the ownership wrangle.

However, Mnangagwa is alleged to have put his security firm, Seasac Security, at the mine despite a deed of settlement which states that security at the mine would be provided by a security firm agreed to by both parties.

Katiyo is expected to rule on the application on Monday.

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