World

Battle over mine control escalates

TINASHE MAKICHI

The fight over the control of gold miner, Redwing Mine, has escalated amid revelations that political bigwigs and various politically connected dealers are outwitting each other using various means, including state apparatus and raising allegations of fraud and dishonesty, Business Times has established.

Redwing Mine, owned by Metallon Corporation, was in July last year placed under care and maintenance. Cecil Madondo was appointed Corporate Rescue manager by the High Court.

Well-placed sources told Business Times this week that there are two rival camps vying to control the mine.

There are, according to sources, plotting and counter plotting between the rival camps, including allegations of fraud.

Madondo was arrested early this month facing fraud allegation. The matter is before the courts.

It is understood that the fierce fighting is pitting a company called Probadek Investments and Better Brands Mining, which is linked to gold dealer Scot Sakupwanya.

Well-placed sources told Business Times this week that the faction said to be controlled by Sakupwanya is claiming victimisation and accusing the other faction of abusing State apparatus to fight business wars while the rival group is claiming they were genuinely duped and clamouring for recourse.

This resulted in Probadek Investments directors Patricia Mutombgwera and Grant Chitate filing a fraud case at the Special Anti-Corruption Unit in the Office of the President.

Business Times is also reliably informed that another docket has since been opened for Sakupwanya while his partner, a Chinese national, has been arrested.

Mutombgwera dismissed claims of the abuse of State apparatus saying they were baseless and it was within her rights as a citizen of Zimbabwe to report to law enforcement agencies.

“It is within my rights to report to law enforcement agencies whenever I feel cheated,” Mutombgwera said.

Sakupwanya was not picking calls when contacted for comment.

Allegations are that On October 15, 2020, Madondo allegedly misrepresented to Mutombgwera and Chitate that he had given Probadek Investments exclusive mining rights in respect of Redwing Mine covering 132 gold mining blocks, eight copper mining blocks and any other mining claims belonging to Redwing Mine.

On the same day Mutombgwera and Chitate acting upon the alleged misrepresentation signed a joint venture and relationship agreement with Madondo representing Redwing Mine.

On October 30, 2020, Mutombgwera and Chitate entered the joint venture believing that their company had secured exclusive mining rights to invest in Redwing Mine.

On November 2, the complainant and Madondo registered a tribute agreement with the Registrar of Deeds as a notarial deed in order to operationalise the joint venture agreement.

During the month of October 2020, Probadek Investments paid corporate rescue fees to the tune of US$60 000 cash into Madondo’s company Tudor House Consultants and made a capital expenditure amounting to US$200 000.

Sometime during the month of November 2020, Madondo allegedly well knowing that he had ceded all mining rights to Probadek Investments prepared another memorandum of tribute agreement with Prime Royal giving them the same mining blocks which he had initially ceded to Probadek Investments. However, Madondo was warned by Probadek’s legal representatives not to sign the agreement without the consent of Probadek Investments, according to court papers.

On December 1, 2020, Madondo allegedly well knowing that he had ceded all mining rights to Probadek Investments, entered into another memorandum of tribute agreement with Betterbrands Mining giving them the same mining blocks which he had initially ceded to Probadek.

In the same month of December 2020, Betterbrands and Prime Royal assumed control of Redwing Mine and started carrying out mining activities which Probadek is entitled to benefit from.

According to the papers, when Madondo entered into the memorandum of tribute agreement, he had no desire to adhere to the terms of the agreement that he was entering with Probadek Investments as evidenced by his conduct in entering memorandum of tribute agreement with Betterbrands Mining well knowing that his agreement with Probadek was still subsisting.

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