CORE Mining and Mineral Resources director Lovemore Kurotwi, who has been on trial for over four years, charged alongside former Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) chief executive officer Dominic Mubaiwa, for causing the government to suffer a $2 billion investment prejudice in diamond mining, has filed an application for discharge at the close of the State case.
Kurotwi filed the application at the High Court last week. Justice Chinembiri Bhunu is presiding over the matter. Kurotwi and Mubaiwa were charged with fraud after they allegedly misrepresented facts to the government that resulted in the merger of Marange Resources and Core Mining to form the now defunct Canadile Miners.
Through his lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, Kurotwi said the agreements that were signed between his company and the government were purely business and as such argued that he was improperly charged and ought to be discharged on that basis.
“Equally, there can be no doubt that similar considerations apply to second accused ([Mubaiwa] who signed the agreements for and on behalf of the ZMDC and Marange Resources in terms of board resolutions that Mr [Godwills] Masimirembwa [then ZMDC board chairman] accepted,” Mtetwa said.
Mtetwa further said the allegation that the duo misrepresented to both the Ministry of Mines and ZMDC that Core Mining was Israeli firm Benny Steinmeitz Group (BSGR)’s special purpose vehicle was not and could not have been supported by evidence of any of the State witnesses.
She further said that BSGR’s involvement in the event of its conditions being met would only be in support of Core Mining, as opposed to guaranteeing the performance of Core’s obligations, was beyond doubt.
“The allegations that the accused ended up ‘concluding a shareholder agreement between ZMDC and Core Mining and Mineral Resources (Pty) Limited instead of BSGR which all along had been held out by both accused persons as the Guarantor of Core Mining thereby causing an actual prejudice of two billion United States Dollars to the Government of Zimbabwe’ were equally not supported by any evidence from the array of State witnesses who testified. In addition, no one from BSGR was called to testify that it had, at any stage, agreed to be Guarantor in the actual sum of US$2 billion,” Mtetwa said.
Chief law officer Chris Mutangadura is yet to respond the application on behalf of the State.