The government is contemplating setting up a task force to investigate the continued fight for the control of Redwing Mine in Penhalonga, which is currently under receivership, Business Times can report.
Although the mine is controlled by Metallon Corporation, the government is concerned by the fights for the control of the mine in Manicaland province amid revelations rival parties accused of name-dropping senior government officials. Cecil Madondo is the administrator of the mine.
Well-placed government sources told Business Times this week that a taskforce team composed of officials from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development as well as the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) has been proposed.
The proposal has since been submitted at OPC. The submission of the proposal, well-placed sources said, has resulted in efforts by the Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU) to investigate fraud allegations at Redwing Mine deferred.
“The fight had become nasty to an extent that parties involved were now accused of name dropping some powerful political figures. Also SACU had started investigating fraud allegations being raised from the fight but had to wait for a task force team that is being proposed to OPC to investigate the tussle for control. Therefore, a proposal has since been made,” one source told Business Times.
Contacted for comment, RBZ Governor John Mangudya said he was not yet made aware of the developments.
“I have not been furnished with information to that effect at the moment,” Mangudya said.
Efforts to get comment from Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando were futile as his mobile phone continuously went unanswered. He also did not respond to text messages sent to him.
The nasty fight for the control of Redwing has seen the arrest of the miner’s judicial manager Madondo on fraud allegations.
Outwitting each other for the control of Redwing Mine is a company called Probadek Investments and Betterbrands Mining linked to prominent gold dealer Scot Sakupwanya.
It is said the faction controlled by Sakupwanya is claiming victimisation and accusing the other faction of abusing state apparatus to fight business wars. The other faction is claiming they were genuinely duped and there was a need for recourse.
Consequently, Probadek Investments directors Patricia Mutombgwera and Grant Chitate caused the arrest of Madondo by SACU. Business Times is also reliably informed that another docket has since been opened for Sakupwanya while his partner, a Chinese national has been arrested.
Redwing is contemplating cancelling Probadek mining contract.
The company approached the High Court with the view to stop Redwing from cancelling the contract.
However, High Court judge Tawanda Chitapi last week dismissed Probadek Investment’s urgent application to stop Redwing Mining Company from cancelling its mining contract and subsequently signing agreements with two other tributary investors.
It is alleged that in October last year, Madondo 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 02, 2020, 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.
It is alleged that Probadek Investments paid corporate rescue fees amounting to US$60 000 cash into Madondo’s company Tudor House Consultants and made a capital expenditure amounting to US$200 000.
It is alleged that in November 2020, Madondo 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.