CORE Mining director, Lovemore Kurotwi, who was acquitted early this year of prejudicing the State in a botched $2 billion diamond mining deal, has appealed to President Robert Mugabe for his assistance in recovering $150 million confiscated upon his arrest.
BY Everson Mushava
Kurotwi was arrested in 2010 after then Mines minister Obert Mpofu alleged that the Core Mining boss had misrepresented that he was a representative of a special purpose vehicle of Benn Steinmertz Group Resources, a South Africa-based international firm that wanted to invest $2 billion in the Chiadzwa diamond fields.
He lost $10 million in cash, as well as diamonds and equipment worth over $140 million when he was arrested.
But in his letter to Mines minister Walter Chidakwa dated October 19, that was also copied to Mugabe and chief secretary in the President’s Office, Misheck Sibanda, Kurotwi said he was having nightmares in recovering his money after his acquittal.
“It has become very disturbing that despite having been cleared by the courts of law, the Ministry of Mines has continued to hold on to our assets, which include mining equipment, stock diamonds and cash,” he wrote.
“The ministry has further gone to the extent of transferring our mining equipment to its new entity (Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company) without our authority. The basis upon which our assets had been confiscated by Mpofu … has since been thrown out by the honourable court.”
Chidakwa, early this year, cancelled all diamond mining licences to plague massive leakages.
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Kurotwi said he was on the verge of losing properties to creditors, yet the government was holding on to his money.
“I now wonder why our government would want to continue fixing its citizens by deliberately refusing to release ordinary people’s property,” he wrote.
“It is my considered view that it is the duty of government to protect the rights of its citizens and not to exhibit an unfair advantage over citizens as if we are second class.
“I, therefore, implore your honourable office to expedite the release of our aforementioned assets, as I understand that your office has the authority to resolve this matter.”