Kurotwi seeks acquittal

HARARE - Core Mining and Minerals (Private) Limited director Lovemore Kurotwi who is accused of defrauding government of $2 billion has told the court of his intention to apply for discharge, after the State closed its case yesterday.

Kurotwi, who is represented by Beatrice Mtetwa, is jointly charged with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC)’s ex-boss Dominic Mubaiwa.

Mubaiwa is represented by Lewis Uriri, who appeared with Webster Chinamora yesterday.

The lawyers told High Court judge Chinembiri Bhunu of the intention to apply for discharge at the close of the State’s case.

Mtetwa told the court that she will file her submissions on December 4, while Uriri will file his own on December 11.

Chris Mutangadura from the prosecutor-general’s office will respond to the application on January 6, next year.

Bhunu postponed the matter indefinitely, to prepare the ruling.

Mutangadura closed the State’s case yesterday. Trial of the two has been going on for years.

The last State witness was former Mines minister Obert Mpofu, who is now the Transport minister. He was cross-examined by Mtetwa yesterday and refused to comment on most of the questions.

Charges against Kurotwi and Mubaiwa arose after a failed investment by South African diamond firm, Benn Steinmeitz Group Resources (BSGR) into the diamond mining in Marange fields. Kurotwi is accused of misrepresenting 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.

ZMDC, which owns Marange Resources and Kurotwi’s Core Mining, went into a joint venture deal to extract diamonds in Marange, forming the now defunct Canadile Miners.

The State alleges the parties later travelled to South Africa for a due diligence exercise, after Mubaiwa prepared an unapproved and uncirculated Memorandum of Agreement between Marange Resources (Private) Limited signed in July 2009, without acquiring cabinet authority.


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