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Vast Resources chasing pie in the sky

Will the Vast/ZCDC/CMR tripartite diamond deal marred by corruption involving pending courts cases, alleged forged documents and fake stamps go through?

EXCLUSIVE – From the Editor Desk – Tuesday 28 April 2020

HARARE (Mining Index) – PENDING courts cases, alleged forged company documents, fake letters and consecutive swindling of various international investors need to be thoroughly investigated before the diamond tripartite deal involving the United Kingdom (UK) investor Vast Resources, state-owned Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) and the Chiadzwa Mineral Resources (CMR) is to be passed by the Zimbabwean government.

The Chiadzwa Community Diamond Project is a joint venture (JV) between Vast Resources’ Zimbabwean subsidiary, Katanga Mining and ZCDC to explore and mine the Heritage concession in the Marange Diamond Fields. ZCDC holds mining rights to prospect and mine diamonds in the Chiadzwa Community Diamond Concession.

Newman Chiadzwa was granted a letter from cabinet to represent the Chiadzwa community under CMR.

Information gleaned by Mining Index reveal that CMR shareholder and chairman, Newman Chiadzwa is not only alleged to be using a forged company, but has also forged documentation authorising himself to conclude any negotiations relating to the Chiadzwa Diamond Fields and the surrounding communities on behalf of Chief Mukungauta Marange.

Information established reveals there are two CMR companies operating.

Copies of the CMR documents in possession of Mining Index show that Newman Chiadzwa is currently the only shareholder of the first CMR incorporated in 2007, after most shareholders resigned in 2013.

Five members of the Chiadzwa Community Development Trust (CCDT are deceased; Philemon Taerengera Chiadzwa, John Gohwa, Blessing Mufute, Benny Matambudze, Peter Mwaamba and Ruby Muchena.

“Newman is also alleged to have forged the CCDT deed of trust removing two founding trustees by forgery and fraud. After the two members discovered their removal, they are said to have taken the matter with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), advocating for his arrest,” said a source close to CMR.

It is reported the second CMR currently listed with the investor, Vast Resources, is alleged to have been forged, not duly registered with the Registrar of Companies under the Zimbabwean laws.

“After doing due diligence with one company, we discovered there are two CMR companies. The first is dully registered with the registrar of companies while the second CMR has a forged signature of the registrar of the deeds office. Only one company is registered with the registrar’s office, but the second one is not. The second company not registered with the deeds office is the one whose documents were submitted to the investor (Vast),”

“It looks like most of the documentation from the second CMR is forged, like the signature of the registrar, this is what we were shown when we went to do due diligence so we are confused,”

“The delay in concluding the second joint venture is coming from alleged forged paperwork from CMR,” said a source who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

The source further highlighted Newman’s former company, Red Mercury had been involved in the community concession, before Newman suddenly dropped Red Mercury and engaged CMR in the diamond deal.

“You will see, most documentation with Vast belongs to Red Mercury,” he said.

Newman Chiadzwa is also alleged to have made a fake Chief Marange’s stamp which he used to stamp documents authorising himself to act for, and on behalf of chief Marange and the community on all matters pertaining to Marange diamonds.

He is also alleged to have written a letter (in possession of this publication), purporting to be Chief Marange and stamped it using an alleged fake stamp to authenticate the documents.

Further investigations done by this publication revealed the current official chief Marange’s stamp has different features from the one used on some of the documents purported to have been written and stamped by Chief Marange.

According to another copy of the letter in possession of Mining Index allegedly forged by Newman Chiadzwa representing Chief Marange dated 29 March 2018, Newman Chiadzwa allegedly wrote, stamped and signed a letter authorising himself to trade in diamonds.

The letter reads;

“This is to confirm that Newman Chiadzwa   ID NO 63 – 243084 G 75 is my Community Development Chairman responsible for Development and Beneficiation within Chiadzwa Diamond Fields and the surrounding Communities. I mandated Newman Chiadzwa to conclude any negotiations related to the Diamond Fields on behalf of my own community and the Court. Please give him free passage to higher authorities in Government and Corporates,”

A third source who requested anonymity confirmed the signature on the letters does not belong to the chief, neither does the stamp.

Another copy of the documents in possession of Mining Index reveals that the late former headman Chiadzwa, although he was literate, he was made to sign the documents using the medieval way of ratifying documentation by stamping his thumb on the letter.

“And some of the documentation given to government, like the headman called Chiadzwa, who is now late, was literate but signed with a thumb,” he said.

When contacted for comment, Newman Chiadzwa denied the allegations.

“The chief denied that he gave Newman the letter authorising him to be his chairman. How can he become the chairman of chief yet he should be the chairman of the Trust, (CCDT) according to government policy,”

“We discovered that CCDT does not represent the entire Marange community because on number 3, its reads the beneficiary of the project are three wards namely Chiadzwa, Mukwada and Mutsago wards so how can Newman represent the chief yet the chief’s ward is excluded from benefiting from the project,”

“You can also ask the investors because they are worried mostly about the CR14,” said another source close to chief Marange, adding that Newman Chiadzwa has two corruption cases pending at the courts amounting $20 million.

This publication is in possession of copies of a pending court case at Mutare Magistrate Court involving $5 million for a forged affidavit, withdrawing a $5 million lawsuit for  an unpaid property.

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 the third source.

In March this year, Vast Resources announced the diamond deal was expected to be concluded before end of March 2020, but up to now, the deal still hangs in limbo. ENDS//

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