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DRC diamond venture haunt former colonel

Clemence Manyukwe

A FORMER army colonel will today testify in the High Court in a case in which some people are alleging that they were never paid for services rendered at a diamond mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR

C) in 2000.

Retired Colonel Paul Kujoko, who is said to be working in Mt Darwin at a youth training centre under the Youth ministry, will testify in the matter in which Urayayi Sakupwanya is suing businessman Lloyd Hove and Thabs Marketing for non-payment of over US$21 000 for the work he did at the mine in the DRC.

In court papers, Hove is said to be the company’s executive chairman.

Giving evidence in court yesterday, witness Lyndon Kapuya said he was employed by Thabs Marketing and worked in the DRC for more than a year but was not paid.

He said none of the workers who worked for the company in the mineral rich country were given salaries supposed to be in US dollars.

“When we left for the DRC there was Colonel Kujoka, Major Muguyo, Mr Hove, myself and a Kennis,” he said.

He said in the DRC they were joined by other Zimbabweans including Sakupwanya.

“We were not paid any salaries. None of us were paid,” Kapuya said.

He said although they were working for Thabs Marketing they were made to sign a contract with a company called Dube and Associates and Thabs Marketing guaranteed the contract saying in the event of a dispute it would take full responsibility.

Kapuya said he had approached Hove for the payments, but he claimed that he did not have the money but would pay him when his fortunes improved.

Documents filed with the court by Sakupwanya say Dube and Associates is not registered according to the law.

Asked under cross examination whether there had been any allegations of misconduct levelled against Sakupwanya, Kapuya said there had been a single incident.

He said at one time the plaintiff was ill and was told to go home and when they were at a place called Kananga the mine’s head of security phoned and said Sakupwanya had some diamonds.

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