Judge warns minister

HARARE - High Court Judge Chinembiri Bhunu yesterday warned Transport minister Obert Mpofu against being “sarcastic”, and warned him to take court proceedings seriously.

Justice Bhunu said this during Mpofu’s cross-examination in the on-going trial of Core Mining and Minerals (Private) Limited director Lovemore Kurotwi.

Mpofu is the State’s last witness in the trial.

Kurotwi is being accused of prejudicing government of $2 billion in potential investment. He is jointly charged with former Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) boss
Dominic Mubaiwa.

The allegations arose following a botched investment by a South African diamond firm, Benn Steinmeitz Group Resources (BSGR), into a diamond mining project in Marange diamond fields.

Mpofu, who is the former Mines minister, was being thoroughly cross-examined by Kurotwi’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa.

During yesterday’s proceedings, he kept declining to respond to some of the questions. He laughed off some of the questions, claiming they were “irrelevant and childish”. 

Mtetwa pleaded with the court to warn Mpofu to take the proceedings seriously, leading to Bhunu’s directive.

“Minister, I would like to direct you that these are serious proceedings. There is no need to be sarcastic,” Bhunu said.

This was after Mtetwa queried who had deliberated on the companies that were shortlisted for investing in the project, considering that the ZMDC board was appointed on June 13, 2009.

She said when the decision on investors was made, the board had not yet held its first meeting, which was only held on June 23, 2009.

Mpofu said the details that he presented to Cabinet through a letter dated June 23, 2009, were from ZMDC, claiming the parastatal was the one that was involved in the selection of the investors.

Mpofu claimed that he wrote the letter based on the information that he got from ZMDC.

“You wrote the letter?” Mtetwa asked, to which Mpofu retorted: “So what?”

Asked to comment on an agreement that was signed by Core Mining and the government, Mpofu said he had nothing to say, because the document was fraudulent and that government does not recognise it.

“As long as she talks of the agreement, I cannot comment, because to me the document is fraudulent,” Mpofu said.

“You are trying to draw milk from a stone,” he said. This was after Mtetwa insisted that she wanted to know when the document was signed.

Mtetwa asked Mpofu why Core Mining’s dividends and management fees were withheld at his instance. Mpofu said the directive was given in context, adding that what happened to the dividends was for ZMDC to comment.

Mtetwa also accused Mpofu of authorising a payment of $600 000 in legal fees for services which were allegedly not provided.

Mpofu said he had nothing to do with the said legal fees, since the issues were being handled by the Attorney-General’s office.

Chief law officer, Chris Mutangadura on the other hand said the information was privileged and could not be divulged in court. He said Mtetwa was soliciting for details based on legal practitioner- client relationship.

“She is casting aspersions on the minister,” Mutangadura protested, adding that Mtetwa was imputing liability on Mpofu on issues that were not relevant to the proceedings.

However, Bhunu asked Mtetwa and Mutangadura to file written submissions on whether Mpofu can be cross-examined on the said “privileged” information.

Bhunu said he would make his ruling on August 27.

ZMDC went into a joint venture deal to extract diamonds in Marange, forming the now defunct Canadile Miners.

The State claims Kurotwi misrepresented to the ministry of Mines and ZMDC that Core Mining was a special purpose vehicle of BSGR, which was supposed to be the guarantor in a joint venture agreement between the parties.

Comments (25)

i believe dad and mama mugabe just wish this case can stop now because their son is getting into trouble and is being embarrassed

see - 5 August 2014

Minister Mpofu is the most obedient son but he does not respect his father's court.

most obedient - 5 August 2014

nail this corrupt bastad (sic) who doesnt know his real father!

Track44 - 5 August 2014

Let's take a hypothetical situation that if this land not been COLONISED by the whites from Britain in 1890 would we be having (1) more jobs OR (2) less jobs OR (3) no jobs at all? Also let's take a hypothetical situation that if this land not been COLONISED by the whites from Britain in 1890 would we be having (1) more EDUCATED PEOPLE or (2) less EDICTED PEOPLE or (3) no EDUCATION at all? Can I have straight answers to the straight questions.

Musona - 5 August 2014

You are trying to get milk from a stone??? Really!! In a way he was saying nomatter what the odds will always and have always been in his favor. Kana Bhunu wacho kungovhundutsira mahara hapana zvaanowaita. he is biased also. akadyiswa yengoda kare kare!!!

Takaz - 5 August 2014

Before the colonialists came in 1890 our forefathers ONLY used backbreaking hand-hoes (MAPADZA). And mapadza were hard to come by because you could not find iron ore easily. There were no industries in this land. These are facts which anyone with any common sense can deduce even if the were not around in 1890. At present you have mapadza in your Reserve because someone has bought the badza in town. How many acres can you cover with a badza? Certainly no bigger than a football field's 18-yard area. No way can you plough an area the size of a football field using a badza. Therefore why do politicians say land was stolen? What did our forefathers need the land for when they had only back-breaking hand-hoes for ploughing? If you think deeply what the politicians tell people does not make any sense at all. MAGEJO (ox-drawn ploughs) were brought by the whites. If the whites had not COLONISED this land would we need to (1)own land at all? Or (2) be able to do any tobacco farming? Gejo rakaunzwa nema bhunu munyika ino. Pasina ma bhunu tingadayi tichirima ne ma padza chete. Chokwadi nyanisi. It is high time we started telling each other the truth instead of lying to each other. Please I want straight answers to these straight questions.

Musona - 5 August 2014

@Musona: i do not think anyone has the time to answer your questions. everyone knows colonialism was a monumental sin, we're past that redundant debate.

attiza - 6 August 2014

@musona: what's your point? Unorweyi? be objective and stop being ignorant . Don't dwell on issues that you don't understand nor are fully informed!!! I am a farmer and have just made $80 000 from this past farming season. I never dreamt of this figure as a teacher from 1986 - 2009! I now own 20 hectares and am proud of it!!!

b. nganda - 6 August 2014

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GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 6 August 2014

@attiza and b nganda - the questions I have asked are very very pertinent to political debate in Zimbabwe. If you do not have answers shut up and let those who have answers answer. Do not try and stifle debate. I don't agree that colonialism was a monumental sin at all. The only stupid person who thinks colonialism was a monumental sin is you. Every single day we hear ZanuPF talking about liberating the country when there was no country before 1890. The only thing that is redundant is your stupid brain. You do not know what a monumental sin is you lying moron. Colonialism was by far and away the biggest and best thing that ever happened to this land. Where our forefathers used MAPADZA the colonialists brought us ox-drawn ploughs and tractors. Where there was no education the colonialists brought us SCHOOLS. Where there were no latrines the colonialists brought us LATRINES and can now go to the latrine at night. Where we travelled on foot colonialists brought us CARS. Where we used to “sika moto” the colonialists brought us matches. The colonialists brought us ELECTRICITY. The benefits are too numerous to list down and you say it was a monumental sin? You have been brainwashed by power-hungry nationalists you ignorant fools.

Musona - 6 August 2014

B Nganda,please don't think your $80 000,00 helps Zimbabwe as a nation.You are only being selfish as you boast of 20 hectares you never sweated for.What would stop any other person to overpower you & take that land?What legal claim do you have to that piece of land?Please be advised that you don't own that 20 hectares at all.That is free land used by ZANU PF to win your vote fullstop.This so called land reform is a recipe for future confrontations.That's why war vets vow to continue with land invasions.

GOREDEMA - 6 August 2014

people dont understand musona, but this guy is saying lets think hard when we debate some of these things. lets not just talk out of our emotions and what these politians have blinded us with. is it true that the ndebeles are colonists too? who is real shona? who owned this land from the beginning? is it true that the people who say this land is theirs is in fact not their 200 to 300 years ago

s - 6 August 2014

Musona, you rapid racist, bhunu rakatorerwa purazi,imbecile, idiot son of a stru...et.

Dr James Joyce - 6 August 2014

@idiot who calls himself colonial Dr James joyce - mwana we bwa.

Musona - 6 August 2014

Musona une yese manje! usavhundusirwa nanampurwa avo! Vakadhakiswa mboko nechizpf chavo ichocho. Sleeping dogs1

263 - 6 August 2014

Vana Mugabe vakabhadarirwa schools fees BY THE COLONIALISTS AT KUTAMA. After finishing college, when he wanted power he then said the COLONIALISTS are devils when they are the ones who paid his school fees! This land had no borders - there was no nation-state so how can some say they “liberated the country” when the country was a British construct. There was never any Conference when the Ndebeles agreed to form a nation with us, was there?

Musona - 6 August 2014

@idiot who calls himself colonial Dr James joyce - when you have a go at someone then you should get everthing right - there is no such thing as RAPID RACIST but rabid racist you ignorant moron. Where is the racism in what I have stated? Iwe haizvizive kuti GEJO rakauya ne bhunu? Inoti GEJO rakabva kudenga here? Zvinogonzi "land was stolen" - vateteguru vaida "fertile land" yekuiteyi nayo ne ma padza? Bhunu rine tractor roregera kurima kuti vanhu vatambise land ne ma padza nekuvhima?

Musona - 6 August 2014

300 more years left for the likes of this Musona guy to understand the dynamics of life - politics -business & religion. Its a good start you are asking these questions but the problem is you are too corky and too void of knowledge !!

Value? - 6 August 2014

@Value - corky? Idiot - is that what you call understanding the “dynamics of life” when you don't even know what corky means. “Void of knowledge” you say? That's rich coming from someone who doesn't know what corky means. You have a lot to learn you ignorant cretin. What dynamics are there about a GEJO being brought to this land by the colonialists? Is this something new to you? It is unpalatable but that is the truth.

Musona - 6 August 2014

@ Musona, it sounds like you have finally found a copy of Form 2 African History. Too corky and too void of knowledge !! it's a self destructive recipe - you may never learn anything.

Value? - 6 August 2014

Ok Musona. Let me educate you. Listen, for this is wisdom. Colonialism was never meant to benefit you, whatever benefit you obtained from colonialism was totally incidental and indirect. To the colonial settlers, you were nothing but a negro and a kaffir, you were not even ranked as a human being. Colonialists did not bring cars and farming equipment for your benefit, those were meant for their benefit. People like you were relegated to "labour reserves" were they wld draw labour to till their farms and work in mines. If you want us to engage in this debate do not use valgour language, i will also not use valgour language, but first let's agree that colonialists NEVER meant to do any good in the interests of YOU. Colonial settlers simple colonised Africa to loot its resources for their benefit. They drove away the natives from all means of production and used force against our forefathers to take their land and all that is in it. what our forefathers were doing with the land is a non-issue, the land belonged to our forefathers, period! Do not reduce your intelligence to the extent of thinking only as far as MAPADZA and CARS at the expense of our african social fabric, identity, ownership rights and way of life. As for your assertion that colonialism brought education and civilisation, we had our own form of knowledge. We had knowledge of our environment and how to live in harmony with it, how to hunt and feed our families, how to consult with our spirit media, how to use herbs and practice traditional medicine. That was our knowledge and we were content with it. Civilisation, my friend, is very subjective. What the colonialists did was to brainwash us into believing that their form of "civilisation" was better than ours.

attiza - 6 August 2014

Vana attiza dai murikuteya mbeva kumusha uko ibvaipo. Colonialism brought a lot of good than bad to Zinbabwe. Of course pee paunoenda munosarudzana kana kumba chaiko. Enda pa party uone kuti munoita zvikwata zvikwata pakauya wamusingade munofamba kubva ipapo but you don't stop the party. The whites may have held us with low esteem as we deserve it judging by what we have done to the once beautiful country but never stopped developing the country. Now takukwidzana makomo kuita senguva ye madzviti chaiyo.

Maita Manyuka - 7 August 2014

Honestly,hate him or not,MUSONA is a great commendetor. The guy knows his history very well.He puts facts not emotional outbursts such as we get from some PATHETIC FOOLS(PF).

KUREVESA - 7 August 2014

@Maita: so we were held with low self esteem back in the 80s "as we deserve it" judging by wat we "have done" decades after the 80s. hw can u be judged on something you have not yet done? are you confused?

attiza - 7 August 2014

zanu pf may have destroyed the country, together with other forces that should take equal blame, but to say colonialism was good for the country is tomfoolery.

attiza - 7 August 2014

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