ZIMBABWE Miners’ Federation president Trynos Nkomo yesterday challenged Vice-President Joice Mujuru to appear in court and deny knowing him after she denied they had a mining deal when he appeared before Gwanda magistrate Sheila Nanzombe.
Nkomo is facing charges of criminal insult (impairing the dignity of the Vice-President) or alternatively lying to a public officer after he misled police about his mining operations.
Allegations against Nkomo are that on May 27 2013, detectives from the Minerals Unit visited Bunny Luck Mine in West Nicholson to investigate allegations that Nkomo had been illegally externalising gold.
They requested Nkomo to produce his mining certificates and trading records with Fidelity, but he only produced photocopies saying the original documents were with Mujuru with whom he claimed to be in partnership.
However, further investigations revealed that Mujuru had nothing to do with Nkomo’s mining operations, leading to his arrest.
In an affidavit produced in court, Mujuru denied knowing him, adding that “such utterances by Nkomo are malicious and tend to demean the status of the Vice-President”.
Nkomo denies the charges arguing he informed detectives that the originals were with Mujuru’s lawyers and not the VP herself.
He said he was surprised that Mujuru was denying any knowledge of him as he had invited her to officiate at the launch of the Mining Mechanisation Programme at Bunny Luck Mine in 2011.
“She knows me very well,” Nkomo said. “If she was here, I would put that across to her. Maybe when she sees my face she will remember me.
“I went to her office and she directed me to hand the original documents to her lawyers. All this was done with her consent and directive.”
Nkomo maintains the originals are still with Mujuru’s lawyers, but refused to divulge their names saying he may have to consult with the Vice-President first. He was remanded out of custody to October 14.
Blessing Gundani appeared for the State, while Thompson Mabhikwa of Mabhikwa and Partners represented Nkomo.