Zimbabwe diamonds financed Nikuv project

Mines and Mining Development secretary, Francis Gudyanga yesterday admitted making payments to companies reportedly linked to Israeli company, Nikuv International Projects.


Gudyanga revealed this while testifying in the case of former Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) acting general manager, Richard Chingodza and his deputy, Hannah Chitate, who are facing fraud charges involving $600 000.

He told a magistrates’ court that he requested $575 000 from the MMCZ to finance the Minerals and Border Control Unit, a department of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, without consulting Treasury, although the money was deposited into the bank account of a private company, Pedstock Limited, which is linked to Nikuv.

Gudyanga revealed this after Chingodza’s lawyer, Oliver Marwa, asked him if it was procedural for a public entity to finance a State entity without Treasury’s consent.

It was also revealed that Gudyanga requested MMCZ to deposit the money into the account of Pedstock Limited, which is linked to Nikuv and had nothing to do with police business.

Gudyanga declined to answer some of Marwa’s questions, saying it was classified information.

“You requested $500 000 on September 8 last year, which you paid Pedstock and another $375 000 transaction on October 23 to the same company. Did you have a ministerial order to request all those transactions?” Marwa asked, and Gudyanga said he did not.

Marwa later produced other documents, which revealed that Gudyanga requested more money, including $150 000 for the Pan-African University, $300 000, which was recorded as for outstanding obligations and $100 000 for Kutama Mission centenary celebrations, all of which all were not backed by ministerial orders.

Gudyanga told the court that he requested the money, but argued that MMCZ was obliged to fund activities as its corporate social responsibility.

Allegations are that contrary to their duties and without following procedures, Chingodza and Chitate, acting in connivance, fraudulently awarded themselves acting, education, long service and backpay allowances and loans totalling $625 226,88 from June 2013 to April 19 last year.

The State alleges Chingodza benefited $390 985,69 from the scam. The money was directly deposited into his CBZ Bank account, while Chitate received $234 241,19, which was deposited into his MBCA Bank account, and nothing was recovered.

The trial continues today.

Molly Mtamangira is prosecuting for the State.

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