Diamonds scam opens can of worms

HARARE - A Ghanaian businessman who together with his business partner are at the centre of the $6 million diamond bribery storm could have fled Zimbabwe after obtaining a fake High Court warrant of release through devious means, the Daily News investigations have revealed.

The shocking discovery by the Daily News has turned out to be a major exposure as it appears that criminals are being released from prison using fake release warrants created by daring locals for huge sums of cash.

Kingsley Ghansah, convicted and sentenced to prison for five years by Harare magistrate Don Ndirowei in 2012 for illegally trading in gold, surreptitiously left the country while on bail pending appeal.

Yesterday, the High Court, the magistrates’ court and Ghansah’s lawyer, confirmed that he used a fake court order to grab his passport and flee the country.

President Robert Mugabe last Tuesday claimed that ex-Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) chairperson Godwills Masimirembwa extorted $6 million from Ghansah and his partner William Atto Essien, a charge the ex-ZMDC boss strenuously denies.

Ironically, Ghansah met Mugabe in September 2011 together with Masimirembwa, former minister of Mines Obert Mpofu, Essien and local investor Itai Munyeza.  They were being introduced to Mugabe by Mpofu as new investors.

However, controversy has marred Ghansah’s release after the Daily News investigations revealed that there was another document purported to have been issued by the High Court claiming that the Ghanaian businessman had been acquitted.

The fake order also directed that his seized gold, passport and $10 000 bail deposit be reimbursed.

Walter Chikwanha, the chief registrar, yesterday told the Daily News that according to court records, Ghansah is on bail pending appeal and his case is yet to be set down for a hearing.

Chikwanha said as far as court records show, Ghansah should be in the country and his appeal against the five-year sentence at the High Court is still pending.

“This order (genuine order) is typed on a High Court security order paper and the other one (fake order) was typed on an ordinary paper,” Chikwanha said adding: “It is called a court order not a bond release”.

Although the Daily News could not establish Ghansah’s whereabouts, his lawyer Admire Rubaya said he last spoke to him early this year and confirmed that he had applied for a temporary release of his Ghanaian’s passport.

Commenting on the fake order, Rubaya said that he even asked Ghansah about the document after he saw him holding it.

“I don’t know where he got that (the fake order). He (Ghansah) is the best person to explain where he got the order,” Rubaya said, adding that he even wrote a letter to the Clerk of Court for them to photocopy the record of proceedings so that he would check if the said order existed.

According to the record of proceedings, Ghansah through his lawyers Nyamushaya, Kasuso and Rubaya Legal Practitioners, filed an appeal against conviction and sentence.

The lawyers successfully applied for bail pending appeal in April last year, before withdrawing the appeal against conviction.

High Court judge Hlekani Mwayera freed Ghansah on $10 000 bail and ordered him to reside at number 24 Mclaunghlin, Kensington, Harare until the determination of the appeal.

He was ordered to report every Friday at Avondale Police Station and surrender his passport as part of bail conditions.

The Ghanaian investors claimed that they bribed Masimirembwa with $6 million, but the losing Zanu PF candidate for Mabvuku-Tafara Constituency strenuously denies the allegations, with senior government and security officials sympathetic to him saying the investors failed to raise the initial $15 million investment capital required to mine diamonds in Chiadzwa.

Information gathered by this paper yesterday revealed that police were hamstrung on the case, with sources claiming the Ghanaians spent most of their cash illegally trading in gold and were now covering their tracks by claiming that the money was used as a bribe.

Despite official police claims that they have launched an investigation into the bribery scam, senior cops said nothing much has been done as they are waiting for Ghansah and Essien to lodge a formal complaint against Masimirembwa, which would form the basis of the case.

“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 and Ghansah for fraudulently acquiring a fake High Court order,” said a top police officer who declined to be named.

“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.”

Further 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 joint venture agreements signed between ZMDC and First Capital, 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 (21)

Everything smacks of dirty linen. If Mr Mpofu introduced these guys to the president,what it means is he was then left out of the $6 million heist by Godwills

Joseph Manjoro - 24 September 2013

Rotina Mavhunga of Chinhoyi diesel was once hosted by His Excellence now Mpofu asked Mugabe to host Ghanshah. All about intelligent and visionary people as we are always told

maita - 24 September 2013

so each and every investor is introduced to the Head of State and Government, the commander-in-chief of the defense forces and the chancellor of all universities? the reason for that being?

kekule - 24 September 2013

Typical of a Banana republic. Everything has to go through the kraal head in order to gain favour.Mpofu et all are butt lickers of note and introducing potential investors to the kraal head gives them brownie points.

connie - 24 September 2013

And we all thought corruption of yesteryear had gone or would be be contained at the least!!! The President might have erred by going to the press and making allegations before a thorough investigation had been done by ZRP.

Cuthbert Mithi - 24 September 2013

chinamanenji hachifambisi hamawe mirai muone

Johannes Kwangwari - 24 September 2013

Iyi ichabata mudhara. Kkkkkkkkk. Chief and head of everything in Zimbabwe this one is coming back on you.

Exiled - 24 September 2013

With no key witnesses and complainants this is just the end of the Masimirembwa case. He is a lucky thief. The people involved in the whole saga are just all criminals who were fighting over spoils!

Dhibha Madhibha - 24 September 2013

Maita you are a misinformed idiot, His Excellency never hosted Rotina, the diesel n'anga. get your facts right before barking your lies.

reason - 25 September 2013

Who said they are corrupt free these guys?

master fox - 25 September 2013

The President stated that he asked the Commissioner General of Police if he knew of any case against the Ghananians the CG informed H.E that there was none pending or otherwise. The CG role is to give H.E correct information regarding security for the President to make informed decisions now it seems he failed in this instance and the question is how many more instances has he given H.E the wrong information and or advice.

john ndebele - 25 September 2013

The investigations on this case will take a very long time to complete and then just disappear just like other cases that involved the big fish.

chimwango - 25 September 2013

His excellence chief of all corruption must have the first and last word

Liptight - 25 September 2013

Heads must roll! Someone misinformed our dear leader.

nice one - 26 September 2013

ROUTE OUT CORRUPTION FOR THE COUNTRY TO MOVE FORWARD

Zimbabwean - 26 September 2013

see report in h-metro on: www.fun4days.com/sms/sms.php?share=34850

wacpop - 27 September 2013

case dead and burried. zim is ours!!!!!

masimirembwa - 27 September 2013

Chihuri made a fool of Mugabe telling him those guys committed no crime, when the guy is a convicted smuggler, forgery suspect illegal gold dealer probable diamond thief

Harare - 27 September 2013

When will all those people writing rubbish about the Head of State learn n get to know that This Man is chosen, chosen By The Almighty to LEAD this Great Country nomatter what. Like it or not ndivo vakadiwa naShe. Lets be united, maintain peace and develop our Nation Tiripamwe as Zimbabweans. Why write all that rubbish about A Head of State. Don't you know LEADERS ARE FROM HEAVEN??? SHAME...SHAME and SHAME ON YOU ALL...

TrueZimbabwean - 30 September 2013

Obviously, Zanu PF is now scared of the civil servants' impending strikes. They will be exposed. While Tsvangirayi was busy fixing the economy, Zanu PF was busy hatching a plan to rig the elections. But now they are in a fix. MDC T has never been convicted of any terrorism, even when Zanu PF planted its own bombs on rail lines and police stations. But we all know that Zanu PF never gives up. No one is coming to state house to demonstrate, the people simply said ok, since you said you won, chi-deliver tione. Now they are looking for new scape goats. The MDC delivered working hospitals they inherited from Zanu PF non-functional. The same for Electricity. Zvirikutonzi Mangoma went away with his electricity. ha ha ha.

Gora - 30 September 2013

@True Zimbabwean, please revisit your Bible. you might be very wrong when you find out that there were uprisings against kings of Judah and Israel. David also rose against Saul who was an annointed king. you should know there are times an apple turns bad and God sees a reason to remove it. let those that oppose do it and let God judge them not poor a two-legged slave like you. FAKE ZIMBABWEAN.

silvanos - 30 September 2013

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