FORMER Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) chief executive officer Dominic Mubaiwa yesterday accused his former boss, ex-Mines minister Obert Mpofu of ignoring his advice against dealing with Israeli diamond investor, BSGR, which had shown interest in being an anonymous partner with a local diamond firm.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
Mubaiwa, who is being jointly charged with Core Mining and Mineral Resources director Lovemore Kurotwi in a deal where the State allegedly lost $2 billion in potential revenue, made the remarks during trial at the High Court yesterday.
The two are alleged to have made misrepresentations to Mpofu, leading to the formation of the now-defunct Canadile Miners, which was a joint venture between government-owned Marange Resources and Core Mining.
The State alleges Kurotwi and Mubaiwa misrepresented to Mpofu that BSGR had indicated it would support Core Mining in a partnership which would then lead to the former injecting $2 billion into the project.
As the cross-examination continued yesterday, Mubaiwa, through his lawyer Unity Saki, told High Court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu that he warned Mpofu that it would not be prudent to partner an investor who wanted to remain anonymous.
In response Mpofu said: “When the advice is abused, as it was in this case, it does not sound to be a good advice and especially when the advice is accompanied by misrepresentations.”
Mpofu, however, confirmed that Mubaiwa was his advisor then, by virtue of his being ZMDC chief executive officer.
As the trial continued, Mubaiwa told Justice Bhunu that BSGR initially indicated that it would support Core Mining in the diamond operations only if a binding agreement between ZMDC and Core Mining had been concluded.
He said BSGR had indicated it would do so provided the conditions in the signed agreement were acceptable to it, failure which it would not proceed with the deal.
According to Chief Law officer Chris Mutangadura, Mubaiwa and Kurotwi, submitted a favourable due diligent report and recommended to Mpofu that ZMDC should proceed to enter into a diamond mining joint venture with Core Mining.
As a result, Core Mining and Marange Resources formed Canadile Miners which was granted mining rights in the Marange area.