HomePoliticsRiver Ranch feud rages on

GNU Hangs by a Thread

New evidence that emerged this week shows a battle is unfolding over River Ranch headquarters located at No 99 Churchill Avenue, Gunhill, Harare.
This is despite claims by Aujan that his relations with the late army commander, General Solomon Mujuru, never soured.

Rani Investment, owned by Anjan, claimed last week that the relationship between Mujuru and Aujan had always been “one of friendship and mutual respect”.

However, documents seen by the Zimbabwe Independent this week further show  that Aujan, who clashed with Mujuru over the mine in Victoria Falls three months before the general died in a mysterious fire in August last year, is now dishonouring an agreement to sell the River Ranch diamond mine offices to Khupukile Resources as initially agreed.

According to a letter from Khupukile Resources director, Nyasha Mujuru del Campo to Aujan, dated January 31 2012, the Saudi businessman initially agreed to sell the offices to the Mujuru family for US$400 000, in addition to his 80% stake in River Ranch mine. 

“When we met you (Aujan) in Harare and you said that you would sell No 99 (Churchill Avenue, Gunhill, Harare) and your shares in River Ranch to us, you said that you would like to have the deal concluded and payments made by December 31,” reads Nyasha’s letter.

“We told you that it was impossible because in Zimbabwe most things, other than shops, close between December and mid-January.”
However, Nyasha said she arranged with the company’s bankers, CBZ Bank, to transfer US$400 000 to be held in trust by Aujan’s lawyers Sawyer & Mkushi.
According to Nyasha, CBZ failed to pay on time as it was experiencing liquidity problems. While still trying to make the payment, the Mujuru family got a letter from Aujan’s lawyer Honour Mkushi of Sawyer & Mkushi in mid-February advising that the property would no longer be sold to them because the payment had still not gone through.

“However, the legal advice we have received is that the late receipt of the money by Mr Mkushi does not mean that you can cancel the sale. Firstly, there was no provision in the agreement we entered into that payment had to be made by December 31, January 7 or any other date. Secondly, even if a fixed date had been agreed to, where the late payment was not due to us not having the money, but due to CBZ not having it, then we are not liable for the default and therefore the agreement cannot be cancelled because of late payment,” reads the letter.

Nyasha said her company eventually paid the money and would not accept reimbursement, adding that they would remain in possession of the property, fuelling the conflict between the two parties.

In addition to dishonouring the agreement to sell the property to the Mujurus, Aujan has also rebuffed the Mujuru family’s offer to buy his 80% shareholding.

In the same letter, Nyasha said: “With regard to the purchase of your shares in River Ranch, yesterday we received the letter dated 19 January from Mr Mkushi notifying us that you will look for another purchaser if you do not receive an acceptable offer by 31 January. Mr Mkushi says that your first choice is to sell to us but then if that is not possible then you must find another purchaser if you do not receive an offer by January 31.

“To give us one day to come up with an acceptable offer is completely unrealistic. We have not seen the audited accounts for 2010. We have not seen management reports or reports of diamonds recovered and sold during the last three years.”

Rani Investment has since indicated it was now offering the shares to government, which it said was ideally suited to manage the mine in the best interests of the country.

Documents seen by the Independent show there were serious problems between Aujan and Mujuru over River Ranch mine before his mysterious death.
The feud over the diamond mine has been going on over the past decade and is still raging.

Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading