Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
The National Prosecuting Authority has urged the High Court to dismiss an application in which Core Mining director Lovemore Kurotwi and former Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation chief executive Dominic Mubaiwa are seeking acquittal on fraud charges.Kurotwi and Mubaiwa are being accused of defrauding the Government of $2 billion.
The two allegedly misrepresented facts to the Government resulting in Marange Resources partnering Core Mining, an undeserving company, to form Canadile Miners for the purposes of extracting diamonds at Chiadzwa.
It is the prosecution’s case that the duo misrepresented that Core Mining was a special purpose vehicle of a renowned international mining giant BSGR.
Government, according to the State, blindly partnered Core Mining before discovering that it had nothing to do with BSGR and that it did not have the capacity to fund the project.
To that end, the State argued that it suffered prejudice to the tune of $2 billion.
The two recently filed their application for discharge at the end of the prosecution’s case.
However, on Friday last week chief law officer Mr Chris Mutangadura filed an opposition to the duo’s application for discharge at the close of the State’s case.
In the opposing papers, Mr Mutangadura argued that Kurotwi and Mubaiwa had a case to answer and that their freedom bid must be thrown out.
“In this case, Lovemore Kurotwi in common purpose with Mubaiwa knew that Core Mining being a shelf company could not have the capacity to partner the Zimbabwean Government as an investment partner hence the fraud by the accused persons to ride on the back of BSGR, a well-known mining giant, for purposes of getting into a joint venture partnership with the Government undeservedly.
“Wherefore, it is prayed for dismissal of this application and an order for continuation of trial,” read Mr Mutangadura’s response.
Mr Mutangadura said the evidence led in the trial so far pointed towards the conviction of Kurotwi and Mubaiwa and that they must be put to their defence.
Mr Mutangadura submitted that the State had proved a prima facie case against the two and that it was inappropriate for the court to discharge them under the circumstances.
The State analysed the witnesses’ testimonies, documentary exhibits and evidence obtained from an inspection in loco conducted in South Africa and concluded that Mubaiwa and Kurotwi should be given an opportunity to answer several questions in their defence case.
Mr Mutangadura, in his response, likened the fraud committed by Kurotwi and Mubaiwa with the misrepresentation made in the biblical story of Jacob when he deceived his father Isaac and stole the blessings meant for his brother Esau.
Adv Lewis Uriri represented Mubaiwa while Ms Beatrice Mtetwa acted for Kurotwi in the trial.
Justice Chinembiri Bhunu is expected to make a ruling soon.