BY VENERANDA LANGA
A HWANGE Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) forensic audit has exposed suspected acts of sabotage carried out with a view to taking over control of the coal miner by Shepherd Tundiya.
Tundiya last year allegedly attempted to remove Mota Engil from mining coal in Hwange and to fraudulently offer businessman James Goddard the Chaba Coalfields concession which HCCL holds under special grants.
Tendai Muza of Ralph Bomment Greenacre and Reynolds said in the audit that the Mota Engil contract was standing on soft ground in 2018.
“If Mota Engil is removed from the mine, there is a likelihood that the mine can sink deeper or even close,” the forensic audit read.
“Mota Engil is contributing not less than 78% of current year (2018) tonnage, and there is a possibility that the significant drop in the Mota Engil output in the months of September 2018 to November 2018 was a result of preparing to pack and go due to possibilities of termination of contract.”
The audit said Mota Engil was facing pressure from someone acting fraudulently, or scandalously trying to replace the company.
“A person known as Shepherd Tundiya sought to replace Mota Engil in a fraudulent manner,” it reads.
“Tundiya allegedly mendaciously prepared a contract between HCCL and JR Goddard. He acted as an HCCL boss, who previously was the man in charge of HCCL from the President’s Office.”
A synopsis of the fraudulent activities by Tundiya began with a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between HCCL (represented by Tundiya) and JR Goddard
Contracting (Pvt) Limited, which was about giving Goddard the Chaba coalfields concession.
In the MoU which Tundiya crafted, he said Goddard had the capacity, equipment, trained staff and technical expertise to undertake drilling, blasting, loading,
hauling and dumping of overburn and coal at HCCL.
The scope of work to be done would includes bush clearing for the pit to be mined, stripping top soil, drilling, blasting, loading, hauling and dumping of
overburn and coal, the maintenance and dust suppression of haul roads relating to the mining works, dozing and management of the overburn waste dumps, lighting
of the mining works, levelling and preparation of benches of drilling and blasting.
In a letter dated September 24, 2018, Goddard then replied Tundiya after a meeting was held at his (Goddard’s) Gweru offices to discuss the Chaba concession.
In the letter, Goddard said the equipment envisaged could produce 40 000 tonnes of coal per month and five teams would be needed to achieve the ultimate
production target of 200 000 tonnes of coal per month.
“We offered to mobilise team one and two within our existing resources at Ngezi Mine, from November 1, 2018, and the establishment charge would be US$1 million
per team,” the letter read.
“For the mobilisation of the subsequent teams three, four and five, an advance payment of $5 430 000 per team would be required to purchase equipment, plus we
would require an estimated charge of $500 000 per team. The advance payment amount would need to be paid to our equipment suppliers in South Africa.”
In another letter from Goddard to Tundiya dated September 7, 2018, the Bulawayo-based businessman then thanked him for the offer to mine 200 000 tonnes of coal
per month at Chaba Mine for HCCL, but said since Mota Engil was still working there, he did not believe they should be disrupted at that time.
Goddard had projected that when his company begins mining at HCCL, they would charge between $20 and $24 per tonne of coal mined.