PARLIAMENT yesterday heard that diamond miner Jinan Mining Company, a joint venture between Marange Resources and Anhui for Economic Construction Company (Afecc) of China, allegedly smuggled out of the country more than $500 million diamond proceeds from Chiadzwa and deposited the money into its Botswana bank account.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth and Indigenisation made the disclosure when Jinan officials appeared before the august House, where they were grilled over the issue, as well as their subsequent failure to deposit $10 million into the Zimunya Marange Community Share Ownership Trust (CSOT) coffers.
But Jinan deputy managing director Tapiwa Goronga failed to respond to the externalisation allegations, insisting that his company never made any profits since it started mining in Chiadzwa in October 2012.
Goronga was accompanied by Fang Hai Shan, a Chinese director representing Afecc, Jinan marketing manager Enock Moyo and company lawyer Kelvin Madzedze.
“The joint venture agreement was that 2% net profits of the company shall be allotted to the CSOT by approval of the board, and in pursuance of this clause, Jinan Mining was commissioned on October 5, 2012 and had audited financial statements in 2013 which registered a loss of $59,9m, and in 2014, the audited financial statements showed a loss of $64,3m,” Goronga said.
“The 2% to be paid to CSOT was not on gross sales, but it was to be paid on net profit, but up to 2015, Jinan has not made a net profit.”
He, however, disclosed that the shareholders had at one time shared dividends in excess of $10 million each, resulting in MPs querying how a company making losses could then share dividends.
Committee chairman Justice Mayor Wadyajena disputed claims that the mining company always made losses. He said the revelations at Jinan could provide leads into the mystery surrounding the missing $15 billion diamond money which President Robert Mugabe first spoke about a few months ago.
Wadyajena also cited a letter written by disgruntled Jinan workers which gave details of how the company allegedly siphoned $500 million diamond money and stashed it in its BancABC account in Botswana.
Part of the letter read: “As citizens and disgruntled workers, we are concerned at the manner in which the directors of Jinan Mining Company have been taking out money from Zimbabwean resources and transferring it to Botswana as investment money at the expense of the host country, Zimbabwe.
“The company, with the aid of BancABC and its international banking manager who once worked for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, has managed to transfer over $500 million and avoided financial intelligence scrutiny . . .”