Mugabe's embarassing U-turn

HARARE - In a major and embarrassing U-turn, President Robert Mugabe has exonerated former Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) chairperson Godwills Masimirembwa for allegedly soliciting a $6 million bribe from Ghanaian investors in the Gye Nyame Resources (GNR) diamond concession.

This comes as the Zanu PF leader had in September “outed” the Mabvuku-Tafara parliamentary aspirant for taking money from William Ato Essien’s Bill Minerals (Bill).

The about-face inadvertently, forced the 90 year-old president to adopt “a cautious approach” in tackling the latest corruption scandals engulfing his administration.

“They (Ghanaians) had given the story that they had brought some... was it $5 or $6 million yakatorwa (that was taken), (but)...they were busy smuggling gold and selling it vachitova ne (they had an) arrangement with a South African group. That is why one of the two was arrested,” Mugabe said in a pre-birthday interview aired on State television yesterday.

“The other pleaded innocent, he said he was even ignorant, he said he was not related to the other one who was arrested, kutinyepera (they lied to us), when the one who was arrested is a brother, except anababa ndivo vakasiyana chete (They have different fathers),” he added.

Mugabe’s admission that the Ghanaians were fraudsters vindicates the Daily News, which last year ran a series of stories exposing Essien and his partner.

And as Zimbabweans tried to digest the meaning, and implications of the latest revelations, attention has shifted to government’s vetting methods or processes of its investment partners, especially in view of Mugabe’s stinging remarks and assessment of Kingsley Ghansah.

In the interview, the Zanu PF leader made it abundantly clear that Essien and company were of a dubious background, and his partner was involved in some really unsavoury activities, including gold smuggling, which led to his five-year conviction in April last year, as first revealed by the Daily News.

Crucially, Mugabe suggested that the Ghanaian “tycoon” was not entirely honest about his banking credentials and had reportedly used his First Capital Plus micro-finance company in Harare to further his usurious activities here.

Again this was revealed by the Daily News during the paper’s investigation into the scam.

And as the GNR bribery saga played out after the Zanu PF leader’s shock remarks late last year, Essien and company tried to blame the diamond mining company’s woes on “stolen capital” by Masimirembwa and his colleagues.

However, sources told the Daily News late last year that the Bill owner was actually trying to use cash from bullion purchases to fund the diamond venture – also partly owned by the ZMDC and a police trust.

And as accusations, and counter-accusations about what went wrong at the Chiadzwa-based mining entity were flying around, it was Manson Mnaba’s board which first drilled holes into the Ghanaians’ story by revealing that Essien’s company had not invested anything beyond $8,5 million.

After a series of forensic audits, Masimirembwa and the GNR board were vindicated after the  Ghanaians failed to take up offers for a formal police report - even when a team of nine detectives was dispatched to Accra last year. As it is, government has decided to cut ties with Bill.

And as the GNR saga deepened, it also turned out that a group of local businessmen – operating under the Dantor consortium and led by Blessmore Chanakira – were the ones who had actually tried to rescue the mine by pouring $10 million.

Meanwhile, Mugabe said in the wide-ranging interview – also touching on rampant factionalism in his party, his intention to fight on despite old age and ill-health speculation – that his government is going to descend heavily on corruption.

In particular, he singled out Premier Service Medical Aid Society and Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation  bosses as shameful recipients of “outrageous” salaries when the nation was going through difficult times.

Since the attainment of independence from Britain in 1980, Zimbabwe has known only one leader and in his traditional interview the Zanu PF leader is not ready to throw in the towel yet.

“But why should it (succession) be discussed when it is not due? Is it due?,” he said.

“The leadership still exists that runs the country. In other words I am still there.

“The people can discuss it if they want, but the moment they start discussing it they go into factions and then you find the party dividing itself and so why discuss it when it is not due?”

The country holds its next election in 2018 and by then Mugabe will be 94.

Comments (17)

Ini zii, my mouth is zipped, I wont say a thing about the U-turn. I heard nothing, I saw nothing, so I wont say nothing. haaaya

Tariro - 21 February 2014

Very soon Cashbets and AirZim bosses will be acquitted for lack of evidence. Watch this space

Tariro - 21 February 2014

Of flip flops and about turns. What is new here....coz this is what has been happening in this country for the last 40 years. Little wonder we are were we are.......

Isidore Mutungagore - 21 February 2014

kana birthday rake nderekunyepera, kare taivako kwakusina vanhu vakadai.

Chidondova - 21 February 2014

See guys I have been telling you that I was being framed for political reasons. Now you are getting it from the old horse's mouth. Come my friends please come to Crowne Plaza tonight and let us all drink to my innocence!

Godwills Masimirembwa - 21 February 2014

HE "kana birthday rake nderekunyepera, kare taivako kwakusina vanhu vakadai."

Zuruvi - 21 February 2014

What role did the police Chihuri guys played in robbing the Ghananians then after luring them into illegal gold deals in order toarrest them and facilated convictions subsequent bail applications and their bail skipping . Mugabe commented before knowing that his police commissioner was the fraudster. This is mafia at work every move was planned. Just check the business partners of the Ghanaians and how the 10 million investments was spend on - director fees no single capital equipment was bought. mafia .mafia

marange son - 22 February 2014

Haiwawo nhema dzega-dzega by Ngwazi Matibili ,the Goblin is so obsessed with POWER hence the reason he continues to fraudulently&violently clinging to Power since the 1990 polls.Ngwazi Matibili is the Godfather of Hyper-CORRUPTION IN ZIM ,he has been presiding over the most criminal CABAL in Zim Living History.Matibili is evil,heinous,callous& corrupt to the bonemarrow.

Dr Zvichaperachete - 22 February 2014

Everyone knew where the corruption trail would have led and ended. What to do? Dump any notion of investigation. Masimirembwa can laugh all the way to the bank. The ZANU PF gravy train rolls on with Mugabe in the driver's seat.

joseph - 22 February 2014

If we are honest we all have to admit that Masimirembwa was innocent on this one...These Ghanaians matsotsi..But one wonders at certain Ministers from the 'media must stop exposing corruption' faction who told Mugabe Masimirembwa stole money and tried to protect these Ghana guys....Why did they do so??

wezhira wezhara - 22 February 2014

Cdes we have realized that the Western imperialists led by Bush and Blair were working with the Ghananian crooks trying to implicate Masimirembwa. this was the work of our detractors who wanted us to impose illegal sanctions on our own black brother.

ndokwedu - 22 February 2014

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CARTRIDGE GALLARY - 22 February 2014

Not surprised at all. After all the ZRP was one of the partners in this venture with the Ghanaians, and it would have been really embarrassing if the matter had been taken to its logical conclusion.

Dopori - 22 February 2014

These battles are not ours to fight.Lets not concentrate on these corruptions,lets keep on praying people the truth is coming out.It says in the bible 2nd chro 20 v 17. The devil wants us to concentrate on corruption so that he can defeat us unaware.Believe me or not our God is a God of order. Let us not get confused at the last minute.PRAY ALWAYS AND BELIEVE IN THE CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. Umanqoba ukufa kehlulwa lutho.

mariyeti mpala - 22 February 2014

@Mariyeti Mpala. What have you been smoking?

Danmore Muzivi - 23 February 2014

People must know that God is watching everything under the Sun, all corruption will haunt their perpetrators. This battle belongs to God.

Muprofita - 24 February 2014

Office and Household Goods for sale. If Interested, Call/WhatsApp 073 483 9173.

Jonsor - 27 February 2014

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