CORRUPTION WATCH – By Investigative Reporter – Tuesday 28 April 2020
HARARE (Mining Index) – HOW can we expect Zimbabwe to get bona fide investors in the mining sector when corruption continues to rein its ugly head in this economic sanctuary our country?
Investors have come, but some have vowed never to return Zimbabwe following corrupt encounters in the mining sector.
President Emerson Mnangagwa has on several occasions warned players in the extractives industries to abstain from any form of corrupt practices.
As a follow-up to a story carried by this publication headlined Vast chasing pie in the sky, Mining Index investigated some allegations as to why the Vast Resources/ZCDC/CMR deal may not sail through.
One expert in the diamond sector revealed how Newman Chiadzwa fleeced various investors who had interests in investing in various mining projects.
“I had a group of investors from Saudi Arabia, with one investor called Zwaid Anatawi whom we registered as buyers with MMCZ (Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe). They wanted a sample and Newman said he would organise one, he went and took several thousands of dollars from them and he never gave them anything,” he said.
In a telephone conversation, and a follow-up chat, Alatawi, who has since gone back to his home country admitted he was swindled of almost US$100 000, in separate transactions by Newman Chiadzwa.
“I have a bad story for Zimbabwe. Newman Chiadzwa took from me US$40 000 and brought me a value of 1 000 carats of poor diamonds. I did not receive the diamonds because he did not provide me with the documents required for export. “At another point, I gave him US$20 000 and another time €20 000,”
“When I arrived in Zimbabwe, I meant to invest. When I saw the bad economic situation, I turned to someone who aspired to help improve the economic situation, but I found that I was dealing with someone who was a thief, so I decided to stop following the project,” said Alatawi.
Other allegations are that Newman also duped an Indian investor, identified as Rajeeve, of almost one million Rands.
Further allegations are that Newman Chiadzwa is being investigated for fraud involving $15 million worth diamonds from the Chiadzwa Diamond Fields.
“It was discovered that Newman has a pending court case of fraud to the tune of $15 million from the Chiadzwa Diamond Fields,” said another source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Mining Index is also in possession of copies of a pending court case at Mutare Magistrate Court, CR Reference M/CENTRAL67/02/15 in which Newman Chiadzwa ‘unlawfully and with intent’ originated an affidavit withdrawing a High Court case against him and forged the complainants signature to make the affidavit appear as if it was written by the complainant so that he could not continue his payment through the court causing a prejudice of $5 million to him.
On 30th of July 2001 the complainant and the accused entered into an agreement of sale and exchange of properties. The documents say Newman failed to honour up payments until the complainant filed a high court order on 15 August 2014.
“On the 12th day of December 2014, the case was still pending at the High Court, the accused person wrote an affidavit, marked annexure ‘B’ in the docket, withdrawing the case against himself and signed it forging the complainants signature before a commissioner of oaths to appear as if it was the complainant who had authored the affidavit and signed it,” read part of the papers filed at the high court.
Government needs to do due diligence on the Vast/ZCDC/CMR diamond project to ensure the deal is not used for personal gain, but benefits the community of Marange.
Credible companies and people must be vetted, a step towards ending corruption in Zimbabwe’s mining sector. ENDS// www.miningindex.co.zw
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