EVEN though President Robert Mugabe accuses the Chinese of looting US$15 billion in diamond proceeds, we can exclusively reveal that his wife received US$7 million from one of the Chinese mining companies to finance the construction of the Grace Mugabe Junior School.
By Elias Mambo/Obey Manayiti
Anjin Investments, a joint venture between China’s Anhui Foreign Economic Construction (Group) Co Ltd (Afec), and Matt Bronze Enterprises — a front for the Defence ministry and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces through Glass Finish Investments (Pvt) Ltd — built the US$7 million state-of-the-art school, the Zimbabwe Independent has established.
Investigations revealed that Afec’s subsidiary company, Sogecoa Zimbabwe Limited, was used to fund the construction of the school under a US$7 million grant.
According to the loan agreement, the funding was requested in 2008 and the construction commenced on November 4 2011 and was completed in February 2013.
This news article is part of an ongoing ground-breaking investigation into the Marange alluvial diamonds discovery and subsequent plunder at various stages by state and non-state actors. The special series is supported by the Investigative Journalism Fund.
The school in Mazowe is built on a 7 720-square metre plot and features 27 classrooms, a library, an art room, music room, computer room and auxiliary equipment rooms.
The institution has four classes with 24 pupils each from Grade 1 to 7 and caters for orphans drawn from Grace Mugabe Children’s Home.
Anjin used its subsidiary, Sogecoa, to engage in activities outside mining. The company concentrated on investing the mining proceeds in the construction of hotels and shopping malls.
“Money was transferred from Anjin to Sogecoa to be invested in other business ventures other than mining,” the source said.
“Sogecoa facilitated the construction of Peacock Mutare Hotel, Peacock Harare and Long Chen (Plaza) shopping mall.”
Anjin is a joint venture between Afec, a large construction company which sources say is connected to the military-industrial complex in China, and Matt Bronze Enterprises, which was formed by the Defence ministry and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces through Glass Finish Investments (Pvt) Ltd.
The agreement to form a joint venture was signed by Brigadier-General Charles Tarumbwa for Matt Bronze (Pvt) Ltd and Peng Zheng on behalf of Anhui.
Fresh investigations by this paper revealed that government through the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) held 50% shareholding with Afec owning the other 50%.
“The 50% share which government held was composed of the military which had a 30% stake, police (10%), while ZMDC had 10%,” a source said.
As reported by this paper, the military is the biggest local beneficiary of Anjin’s diamond mining revenues. Bank statements seen by this paper show that Anjin and Jinan, both Chinese companies, deposited millions of dollars into the subsidiary company’s account before the money was used and electronically transferred to banks outside Zimbabwe.
The school, built in a record 11 months, opened its doors at the beginning of the year with 97 children and 11 teachers, marking the Grace Mugabe Foundation’s second project in Mazowe after the orphanage which now houses over 50 children.
At the official handover ceremony in January 2013, Mugabe said: “This intervention by the Grace Mugabe Foundation is a welcome complement to government’s plans to build more schools, or at least make those already in existence more accessible.
“As head of state and government, I am naturally pleased that the work which is taking place here places Zimbabwe firmly on the path to addressing some of the challenges given to United Nations member states through the Millennium Development Goals.”
He also commended the Chinese people for the hard work and speed with which they undertook the task, saying Zimbabweans should draw lessons from the Chinese by doing their business timeously and meticulously.