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Mpofu misled Mugabe on now defunct Marange diamond firm - report

05 august 2014

Zimbabwe’s former mines and mining development minister Obert Mpofu reportedly failed to disclose the truth to President Robert Mugabe about the mining joint venture that resulted in the formation of the now defunct Canadile Miners to mine diamonds in Marange.
Mpofu was testifying in court after being accused of demanding a $10 million bribe in exchange for Core Mining to partner ZMDC in mining diamonds in Marange.
The Herald newspaper reports that Mpofu penned a letter in June 2009 to Mugabe recommending the partnership between the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and the BSGR Group.
However, he allegedly failed to disclose that BSGR had laid out conditions to be met before it rendered financial support to its contracting partner, Core Mining and Mineral Resources led by Lovemore Kurotwi, who was being accused of defrauding the government $2 billion.
He told Mugabe that the deal had been sealed and was ready to be operational.
BSGR director Marc Struik had indicated to ZMDC that they would only support Core Mining after a binding agreement had been finalised and when its conditions had been met.
“Did you disclose to the President that BSGR said it would only come on board if certain conditions had been met?” Kurotwi’s lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, said.
“You are the one who made misrepresentations to the President because you did not disclose the pre-conditions to the President.”
Mpofu was said to have confirmed that he did not disclose the information to Mugabe, but argued that he had not been informed of the conditions by ZMDC.
“How could I have told the President when I had not been informed by ZMDC?” he said.
 Mpofu had at first refused to comment of the letter he wrote to Mugabe, saying he did not want to comment on his communication with the President, reports The Herald.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished