ZANU PF directly benefitted from the looting of the Chiadzwa diamonds, despite unconvincing attempts by party leaders, including President Robert Mugabe, to lay all the blame on foreign mining companies and investors, the Zimbabwe Independent can reveal.
By Obey Manayiti
Anjin Investments, a joint venture between the Anhui Foreign Economic Construction (Group) Co Ltd (Afec), and a military company, Matt Bronze Enterprises, which was formed by the Defence ministry and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), contributed US$650 000 towards the construction of the US$6,5 million Zanu PF conference centre in the Midlands, it has emerged.
Bank statements seen by this paper show that on October 29 2012, Anjin made a transfer of US$650 000 (reference number ZW2FSTP123030012) to the Midlands Development Association (MDA)’s CBZ Bank account. The MDA was responsible for raising resources to construct the conference centre.
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.
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,” a source said. “Sogecoa facilitated the construction of Peacock Mutare Hotel, Peacock Harare and Long Chen (Plaza) shopping mall.”
Investigations revealed that Anjin opened a business current account, number 10310505602580, with BancABC for the sole purpose of transferring US$650 000 to the MDA’s CBZ Bank account.
The account was opened in January 2010 with an opening balance of US$650 000. The money was then transferred to the MDA on October 29 2012.
Anjin was granted a mining licence by then Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa in his capacity as the acting Mines minister at the time. Mnangagwa is the patron of the MDA, which built the Zanu PF conference centre.
As reported by this newspaper, Afec’s subsidiary company, Sogecoa Zimbabwe Limited, was also used to fund the construction of First Lady Grace Mugabe’s state-of-the-art US$7 million school at her Mazowe orphanage centre.
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.
Zanu PF’s controversial US$6,5 million conference facility was built in 2012 in Gweru ahead of the party’s 13th annual people’s conference.
The 5 000-seater facility, dubbed the “Hall of Shame” by critics of the party, is owned by the MDA — a grouping of businesspeople linked to Zanu PF — and was built in just two-and-a-half months by a Chinese company.
The convention centre was constructed under the stewardship of Murewa South legislator Joel Biggie Matiza.
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 show that Anjin and Jinan, another Chinese company, deposited millions of dollars into the subsidiary company’s account before the money was used or electronically transferred to banks outside Zimbabwe.