I'm innocent: Kurotwi

HARARE - Core Mining and Minerals (Private) Limited director Lovemore Kurotwi, accused of defrauding government of $2 billion says the State has failed to adduce evidence linking him to the commission of the offence.

In his application for discharge filed at the High Court, Kurotwi, who is jointly charged with Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC)’s ex-boss Dominic Mubaiwa, said the State did not justify how it arrived to the alleged $2 billion prejudice.

“…the State has led no evidence which shows that the signing of the agreements said to have been fraudulently executed was engineered by the first accused (Kurotwi).

“First accused is entitled to a discharge at this stage on the basis of a failure to adduce evidence ‘to prove an essential element of the offence’,” Kurotwi’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said.

She further said, at all times, her client acted for and on behalf of Core Mining as its local-based director, adding that the State had not explained why it was not the company that was charged instead.

“No witness gave admissible evidence that first accused made the alleged misrepresentations to them representing the ministry as alleged,” Mtetwa said.

Prosecutor Chris Mutangadura closed the State’s case in November last year in the trial that has been going on for years.

This prompted Kurotwi to file an application for discharge, arguing that there was no evidence to nail him. The State is still to respond to the application.

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

Comments (1)

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Mukanya - 26 March 2015

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