New twist to diamonds saga

HARARE - The raging diamonds saga has taken a new twist with fresh reports indicating that the Ghanaian investors at the centre of the $6 million bribery scam could have used large sums of cash to illegally deal in gold in a desperate bid to raise money needed to fund the diamond project.

Besides illegally dealing in gold, the Ghanaians reportedly used millions of dollars operating a micro-finance company in Eastlea where they were dishing out vast sums of money to individuals and businessmen at exorbitant interest rates.

Ghanaian businessmen William Atto Essien and Kingsley Ghansah claim that they bribed former Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) chairman Godwills Masimirembwa after they failed to raise the initial $15 million investment capital required to mine diamonds in Chiadzwa.

President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday stunned the nation when he claimed that  Masimirembwa had extorted $6 million from the Ghanaian investors, a charge he strenuously denies saying he is ready to explain to the president and the nation who benefitted what from the Ghanaians.

Fresh information obtained by the Daily News indicates that one of them, Ghansah was last year in April convicted at the magistrates’ courts of illegally dealing in gold and was jailed for five years.

But in October the same year, Ghansah was released on appeal at the High Court.

But the High Court release order seen by the Daily News does not have the name of the judge and bears two stamps one dated October 18, 2012 and the other October 16, 2012.

The judgment reads: “The following is ordered for the release of Kingsley Atta Ghansah after completion and acquittal of appellant. 1. The sum of US$10 000 being held as recognisance for bail. 2. The sum of US$33 000 which was being held as security. 3. The Exhibit being 7 smelted gold buttons and 4 smelted gold bars weighing 7,189 kg. 4. Ghananian passport of appellant.”

Contacted for comment on the authenticity of Ghansah’s acquittal yesterday, Judge President Justice Chiweshe said: “You need to come to my office or check with the registrar and it can’t be today because I am out of office.”

According to information sniffed by the Daily News yesterday, top government officials are now divided over how to handle the Masimirembwa issue with those fighting in his camp saying actually the Ghanaians spent most of their cash illegally trading in gold and were now covering their tracks by claiming that the money was used to bribe people.

A top government source yesterday said Masimirembwa had maintained his innocence and reportedly told his close associates that he was being nailed because the Ghanaians were in the process of being booted out after failing to raise the required capital.

“The challenge with this issue is that the Ghanaians are not here to act as complainants because they themselves might be arrested for their illegal dealings here including gold. Kingsley for example, walked out of jail in circumstances which still need to be verified and Essien is not sure what will happen to him.

“This case is complicated in that while the president has ordered action against Masimirembwa, it is not easy to pin him down because he will certainly not go alone. He has in the past said he is aware of who benefitted what from the Ghanaians and now it appears that the Ghanaians could have brought cash into the country but they used it for something else suspected to be gold dealing as evidenced by the conviction of Ghansah,” said the top government source.

Investigations by the Daily News have revealed that the Ghanaians —Essien and Ghansah — only brought in $5 million which was a commitment investment, prompting local investors in the joint venture Blessmore Chanakira and Itai Munyeza to put their properties on the block to borrow $10 million, which was used to purchase plant equipment to mine diamonds from Block G Concession in Marange area.

According to agreements seen by the Daily News, the Ghanaians and their Zimbabwean counterparts were supposed to invest a total of $110 million with the initial investment pegged at $15 million which they failed to raise.

After failing to raise the rest of the amount, Munyeza and Chanakira, using their investment vehicle, Danto Investments, borrowed the $10 million which was quickly swallowed in the project.

There are escalating fears that they could lose the properties they used as collateral.

Under the deal, ZMDC strategically partnered with Bill Minerals, whose majority shareholder was First Capital Plus Zimbabwe.

Comments (17)

viva zanu ndeyeropa. i'm sensing blood and we are about to go to heroes acre.

black Crow - 21 September 2013

Our biggest challenge in Zimbabwe is to stop the thieves, zanupf is both their breeding ground and hiding place.

Stop-a-Thief - 21 September 2013

President inga wani ndimi makataura muchiti ngatishandise bhadhizo kupendza ngochani munyika.ko tadii taenderera mberi ne bhadhizo kupedza mbavha munyika.Zanu chiororo.mbavha ngadziororwe,nyika takatora iyi

mabhogora - 21 September 2013

zvinoda runyararo

taipei - 21 September 2013

YATOPERA NYAYA IYI KANA PODA KUBUDA MAMWE MAZITA KUDAYI YOTO TSIKWA TSIKWA MRK my words

M - 22 September 2013

end-of-saga

Peter Mawire - 22 September 2013

From this article, Masimirembwa is not clean, but he was not alone. Saka torega kuti the course of law itore place here simply because there are others who will be dragged along? Ndosaka ichinzi "diamondgate". A scandal has more than one actor. The due process must take place and those found on the wrong side of the law, prosecuted. This is the only way we can cleanse a filthy system.

Mugaradziko - 22 September 2013

DONT WASTE TIME, GOTO: http://yournetpay.com/index.php?refcode=2838

WW - 22 September 2013

This is the INDEGINISATION that is being preached by ZANU ,promises ,GUARANTEES on paper with no money ,lt is a culture in ZANU FOR instance CHIYANGWA & his MIDRON ENTEPRISES ,they blocked people with money from buying G&D one of the world class shoe producing company ,now it has closed down a lot of jobs were lost some never recieved their pensions,Now these DIAMOND FIELDS are going to follow the very culture & the losers in this is the country not ZANU PF .DIRTY MONEY is being recycled from gold to diamonds & no one is going to be dragged before the courts because they are ZANU PF.These people are CORRUPT to the CORE.

CASHTALK - 22 September 2013

Zanupf is the official trade union of criminals in Zimbabwe.

Mhakure - 22 September 2013

The president said Masimirembwa should face the full wrath of law. Whatever he is saying cannot spare him from prsecution of found guilty. His case should be instead speeded up so that people see how serious the prsident is.

Pishai Mudu - 23 September 2013

ZImbabwe yawora veduwee. Bob has failed dismally to contain corruption.

chibage - 23 September 2013

"This case is complicated in that while the president has ordered action against Masimirembwa, it is not easy to pin him down because he will certainly not go alone. He has in the past said he is aware of who benefitted what from the Ghanaians and now it appears that the Ghanaians could have brought cash into the country but they used it for something else suspected to be gold dealing as evidenced by the conviction of Ghansah,” said the top government source." so he knows who benefitted from what, saka pane nyaya someone benefitted from something.

maita - 23 September 2013

Imi makamboonepi a genuine businessman/investor who agrees kunzi bring $4million in cash? Ndokuti money laudering ka uku. Dyiwai, muri mafia imi, ayi!

simba - 23 September 2013

If the investment amounts are so little i.e $15m, why do we need foreign investors? Surely there are 10000 Zimboz who could raise this. Also, i noted the Zimbabweans were putting 10m, Ghanains 5m. Akomana, watokwanisa 10 million wadikubvawotoshinga kuisa 15 million yese wega than invite these west african con men? Chiona manje

simba - 23 September 2013

Mhakure you coul not say it any better.. You see someone is now beginning to cover up. High court sayi the order was auntectic bla bla. You see they will continue with the case just as a face server and for public posturing or at best tell the guy to keep mouth zipped meanwhile be in jail for a few weeks or days and before long we forget about the whole case. Wy didnt RGM bring this up during the run up to 31/7 as a show of seriosness to fight corruption

doritori - 25 September 2013

On another matter Zanuf are geniuoses. RGM certainly disdained Masimire and could not like him in his team. He could have sacrificed him loing back but realised the political consequences. MRT take your lessons here as you admitted u heroe worship RGM

doritori - 25 September 2013

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.