FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe’s first born son, Russell Goreraza (33), and his business partner Valentine Gaucho imported seven top-of-the-range vehicles worth about US$2,5 million after brokering a controversial mining deal between government and a Kazakhstan company, Todal Mining, which owns platinum concessions between Shurugwi and Zvishavane, the Zimbabwe Independent can exclusively reveal.
By Elias Mambo
This comes against a backdrop of reports that Goreraza this week took ownership of two Rolls Royce limousines — one for Gaucho and the other for himself — after receiving two 2017 Range Rovers and two Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan cars. A top-of-the-range Aston Martin is on its way.
Investigations by this paper showed the two Rolls Royces cost US$685 000, Range Rovers US$200 000, Mercedes-Benz S-Class US$260 000, while the Aston Martin is valued at US$150 000.
Informed sources said the Aston Martin — made by British manufacturer of luxury sports cars and grand tourers — will be taken by Gaucho, who already drives a Porsche Cayenne, Rolls Royce, BMW X5 new model and a Mercedes-Benz AMG S65 Coupe.
Goreraza has in his carport two Range Rovers, a Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the new Rolls Royce. The two youthful businessmen and dealers have cars which even local chief executives of big companies cannot afford.
Todal was once partly owned by Zanu PF benefactor Billy Rautenbach through Lefever, a subsidiary of Central African Mining and Exploration Company (Camec) in which his family had an interest. Camec was listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE)’s subsidiary market, Alternative Investment Market from 2002-2009.
Camec and Rautenbach then sold Todal to a Kazakhstan FTSE-listed mining consortium, Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), in November 2009. ENRC paid US$945 million to Camec.
However, sources said government was not happy with Rautenbach’s disposal of concessions to ENRC as it was done without ministerial approval and thus not procedural or illegal. This prompted a crisis after the deal was consummated at the LSE.
“Rautenbach was given the platinum concessions by government to offset a debt. He then transferred the claims to Camec, which partly owned Todal, as he also had an interest in those companies,” a source said. “The claims were later sold by Camec on the LSE to the Kazakh company. However, government was opposed to this as it was unlawful and bordered on speculation. The indigenisation policy was also violated and relevant taxes were also not paid. This prompted government to refuse to allow ENRC to mine and this is where behind-the-scenes brokerage by Gaucho and Goreraza, working with high profile and powerful networks, comes in.”
The Independent previously reported that during the March 2008 elections, Lefever Finance, a Rautenbach-linked enterprise, advanced President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF a US$100 million loan for their ill-fated campaign.
But government failed to repay the money and Rautenbach was given platinum claims to offset the debt. This was after government had repossessed 30% of the claims held by Anglo America.
Under pressure, Anglo American Platinum, the world’s top platinum producer, ceded more than a quarter of its concessions in Zimbabwe to the government.
In return, Anglo was granted empowerment credits and foreign exchange indulgences that would allow it to develop a valuable remaining concession.
Immediately after Anglo’s concession had been seized, government awarded them to Todal, a joint venture between the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (40%) and Lefever Finance (60%).
Lefever was owned by the opaque Meryweather Investments, registered in the