Takunda Maodza Assistant News Editor—
Secretary for Mines and Mining Development Professor Francis Gudyanga allegedly ordered the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) to pay a Harare-based agricultural firm over $1,3 million presumably for services the firm provided to the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s Minerals and Border Patrol Unit.
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Coincidentally, Pedstock Investment, the agricultural company, supplied and installed irrigation equipment at Prof Gudyanga’s farm in Manicaland worth thousands of dollars. The equipment included top-of-the-range water pumps and other irrigation accessories.
Prof Gudyanga also allegedly instructed MMCZ to pay the Minerals and Border Control Unit $330 190. Reliable sources, however, said the MMCZ does fund the Minerals and Border Control Unit. But in an interview with The Herald on Wednesday, the police, through its chief national spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said ZRP had never hired Pedstock to provide them services of any nature.
In a separate interview on Monday, Pedstock Investment general manager Mr Temesai Chimsoro denied providing services to the Minerals and Border Control Unit. “Pedstock is 100 percent agriculture. We deal in seeds, seedlings and inputs. That is our business,” said Mr Chimsoro.
ZRP said Pedstock has never done any business for them. Snr Asst Comm Charamba said: “We have never done any training business with Pedstock. We will need to investigate from our side.” Documents in The Herald’s possession, however, show that the money was paid in batches following orders from Prof Gudyanga.
The MMCZ paid Pedstock $575 000.00 on January 21 2015. The money was transferred from the MMCZ’s MBCA Bank account via the Zimbabwe Electronic Transfer Settlement (ZETSS) to Pedstock account with Stanbic Borrowdale Branch, Account Number 0240047080701.
The MMCZ paid Pedstock a similar amount following Prof Gudyanga’s order on May 21, 2015. On the money paid to Minerals and Border Control Unit, Prof Gudyanga wrote to the MMCZ saying: “The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development is requesting the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe for assistance of $330 190 to fund the Minerals and Border Control Unit.
The amount may be deposited as URGENTLY as possible in the bank account in the attached GLAMER invoice.” The MMCZ also paid a West Indies based Glamer Limited $575 000 presumably as “Advance payment for Special Funding for the Minerals and Border Control Unit”.
All in all the MMCZ forked out $1 725 000.00. Efforts to get a comment from Prof Gudyanga have been fruitless since Tuesday. When The Herald granted him the opportunity to comment on the matter by visiting his office, he refused to talk to the reporter.