'Minister caught in web of lies'

HARARE - Christopher Mushowe, the Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister, yesterday squirmed under tough probing over ex-Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s dubious documents that sought to justify claims that companies mining gems in Chiadzwa had each pledged $10 million towards the Marange-Zimunya community share ownership scheme.

While Kasukuwere, now Water minister, produced “documentary evidence” in an effort to debunk claims by diamond mining firms that they only pledged to contribute $1,5 million each, and not the $10 million hawked by the minister, Mushowe insisted to Parliament yesterday that the letters produced by Kasukuwere were genuine.

This was after Kasukuwere’s successor Francis Nhema suggested to Parliament last week that the letters purportedly written to the mining firms by Kasukuwere were fake.

Mushowe told the Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment parliamentary portfolio committee that he had received a letter from Kasukuwere on

August 20, 2012 requesting him to ensure that the five diamond companies in Chiadzwa paid the $10 million pledge they had made.

It, however, turned out that while the letter was dated August 2012, it was only stamped on April 4 this year, which raised suspicions.

Under cross examination from the Justice Mayor Wadyajena committee, Mushowe struggled to explain the anomaly, first saying he had requested to have a copy of the letter from the ministry because he did not have it, then making another U-turn saying he had requested a copy after he misplaced his.

This was after legislators had queried how he had missed the anomaly when it was addressed to him.

Mushowe also initially denied that he had written to diamond companies demanding that they honour their pledges before making an about turn and saying he had forgotten that he had written to Anjin.

“If indeed I wrote it, it was because the then minister of Youth had written to me asking me as provincial minister who had the responsibility to oversee strategic government programmes and projects to make sure that the pledges made were honoured,” Mushowe said after one of the letters he wrote was read out to him by Wadyajena.

“I had forgotten that I wrote the letter, this is my signature,” he said. “I cannot comment why the stamps have different dates because they did not originate from my ministry.”

Nhema told Parliament’s committee on Youth and Indigenisation last week that although he had checked all the files at the ministry “it seems I cannot locate them”.

“I have even asked officials whether the letters are there. The problem is that there is no reference, no date stamp to authenticate the letters. I have checked with many files I don’t know if they are there.

“I can’t say that they are not authentic but I have not seen any of the said letters. I tried to ask the (ministry) officials but no one knows about them,” he said.

Wadyajena grilled Mushowe on how Brian Mushowe ended up as a board member in one of the diamond miners Jinan. Mushowe said Brian was the son of his cousin and claimed it was Transport minister Obert Mpofu who had appointed him when he was Mines minister.

Mushowe is said to have pursued Jinan only to fork out the $10 million, leaving out the other diamond miners.

Zanu PF MP for Goromonzi West Biata Nyamupinga asked Mushowe what amount he was demanding from the diamond companies when he made the follow up.

Mushowe declined to answer the question, and accused the committee of engaging in a witch hunt.

“Honestly, I never expected that this committee would engage in a witch-hunt,” Mushowe said. “I only made a follow up to the company that had made President Robert Mugabe to present a dummy cheque to the community which is now asking me where the money is.”

In another contradiction, Mushowe said he had a role to play in both the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust and the diamond companies because he was Mugabe’s representative in the province, in addition to him being the legislator for the area.

“My role is dual,” he said. “As MP, I have a legislative responsibility to make sure the social circumstances are ameliorated and as provincial minister I have a very clear oversight role to play to intervene for government where necessary.

“So if I give impetus, it’s not that I am interfering, it’s a responsibility that I must take,” he said.

Mushowe buttressed Kasukuwere’s claims that the diamond companies had indeed pledged to pay the $50 million, saying they were all represented when Mugabe launched the MZCSOT in 2012.

All the five diamond miners deny ever making the $10 million pledge each.

Mushowe dismissed claims by the diamond companies that they were engaging in corporate social responsibility by relocating displaced families and providing food rations to communities among other activities, saying they were compensating villagers for the environmental damage the companies were causing.

Comments (17)

MBAVHA ! MBAVHA ! yanzvenga nyaya

Mukanya - 11 April 2014

Ndokuti LEADERSHIP pachiZANU PF. I wish you could not tell the nation about what these guys doing to us, though we know some of their evil deeds, we would be at peace with the little we know about them than all this. Hatisati tambonzwa pano sungwa varume ava kunyangwe zvadini. Ndozvemumba yacho, inonzi yavana TAKARWA HONDO, Isu tinonzi vana TAKAZVISUNGIRIRA 1980.

Nyashanu - 11 April 2014

Mugove, what ignorance, Kasusukuwere has never been minister of mines and you are supposed to be a journalist. obert mpofu was. go back to school and read current affairs. he was minister of youth empowerment and indegidinization.

Jean Pierre Phantom - 11 April 2014

Mugove, what ignorance, Kasusukuwere has never been minister of mines and you are supposed to be a journalist. obert mpofu was. go back to school and read current affairs. he was minister of youth empowerment and indegidinization.

Jean Pierre Phantom - 11 April 2014

No coordination. Mumwe nemumwe ari kuita zvake. Thats why we have this confusion. Bob, please send these home.

machakachaka - 11 April 2014


CHANCE - 11 April 2014

baba mugabe tinunureiwo honayi zvaite nyika?monyarara kusvika riinhi zvimbwasungata zvichiparadza nyika kudai?tibatsireiwo mambo mhuri ndeyenyu iyi

karanda mission hospital - 11 April 2014

Gentleman pakudiwa new party not Zanu not Mdc.

Tinashe Charles Hozheri - 11 April 2014

The problem is that these guys have been lying with a straight face and getting away with it. That is why the country is in such a mess. Its because of guys like these who are in ministerial positions and yet in any civilised jurisdictions they would qualify even to polish shoes!!! Why should Zimbabwe be cursed like this?? It s a shame really!!!!

SHIBHOBHO - 11 April 2014

munoti baba mugabe tibatsirei. munoti vanotibatsira chiyi. there is nothing he can do, he is now a place holder we president 's office.munhu aneta uyu. do you think a whole president ano boycota meeting coz his wife has been denied visa and sacrifices the whole nation is still worth looking up to.what else can he do. ikozvino corruption scandals are dying a natural death. ma civil servants have not been paid the promised increaments. and to worsen everything even if that increament is going to come will it be sustainable coz if the current salaries were taking 70% then after the increament what % will they take. is the increament sustainable. already they are talking of suspending all other government activities to concentrate on paying civil servants. what does that mean for health care, education , roads and other infrastructure needs. 2008 is slowly coming back

peter matibiri - 11 April 2014

People like kamal khalfan who has all the pad reputation should look for them and the government in Zimbabwe should get some change because they protect the corruption like kamal khalfan because he is abusing to the government people

Ahmed - 11 April 2014

A Hitman is the solution to Zimbabwe's problem if we don't want to shade innocent blood in another liberation war to free our Beloved Country from these Monsters

Hitman - 11 April 2014

If u think the devil is a liar then u haven't met a ZANU PF MP

Tozvireva - 12 April 2014

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teurai ropa - 15 April 2014

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