Mines Minister Winston Chitando under fire as Hwange looting investigations hot up

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A FORENSIC auditor engaged by Hwange Colliery to investigate financial impropriety has fingered Mines and Mining Development minister Winston Chitando, who he said was likely in cahoots with shady characters and was stealing coal from the struggling miner.

Reynolds Tendai Muza, a forensic auditor and investigator with Ralph Bomment Greenacre and Reynolds, on Monday asked Parliament to invoke the Prevention of Corruption Act in order to investigate Chitando and Shepherd Tundiya, who was allegedly masquerading as a State spy agent and using President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s name to kidnap and threaten Hwange Colliery board members.

The forensic auditor suspected that Chitando was linked to a company from his constituency in Gutu, which was transporting the bulk of the coal in Hwange.

“There is a company whose head office is in Gutu, and it is probably the largest haulage company ferrying coal to the mine,” Muza said.

“As an investigator, I found that this company, Inducto Save, is doing 68% of its work in Hwange and I wondered why it is based in Gutu. Its directors are named as Solomon Matsa, whose address is given as residing in South Africa, and another director, Shelter Madanhire. And Inducto Save headquarters is PO Box 119, Matsa Stores in Gutu. But further investigations show that these people are based in South Africa.”

Muza said it was shocking that at Hwange Colliery, several companies performed incompatible functions of loading coal instead of the company repairing conveyor belts, which will cost them $2 million and save money.

“Loading of coal is being done by a company called Feel Cool Investments, which is directed by Wilfred Tundiya (Shepherd Tundiya’s brother), and another company that loads this coal using front end loaders on contract called AVIM whose directors are Tundiya (Shepherd) and someone else,” he said.

Muza said Hwange Colliery received directives from Tundiya.

“Feel Cool and AVIM are linked and are doing the lifting of the coal into the trucks and delivering it to other places without using weighbridges. It creates room that while Hwange is mining, someone is eating their produce because the ICT systems at Hwange are not functioning properly, and there is no completeness of records,” he said.

Muza said documentary evidence showed that Tundiya’s companies were looting coal from Hwange.

“Tundiya’s companies are stealing coal. Some of the findings right now is that Tundiya owes Hwange Colliery $481 000 in advance payments for coal that was never delivered,” he said.

“When Tundiya was busy stealing coal at Hwange Colliery, Chitando was still the board chairperson of Hwange. He even passed a board decision that Tundiya must be given more business so that he is empowered to pay back the $481 000 he owes.”

The investigator told MPs that the relationship between Chitando and Tundiya now needed further investigation.

“There is need for a forensic investigation under the Prevention of Corruption Act which will be focused on Chitando and Tundiya, because if the investigation is done under this Act, it can even be focused on their families, as well as the investigations on the death threats to the company secretary Allen Masiye and internal auditor Gilbert Mudenda,” he said.

He alleged Tundiya masqueraded as someone connected to Mnangagwa as well as a CIO to instil fear to Hwange Colliery bosses.

Muza said a lot of coal had been stolen from Hwange Colliery by so-called transporters due to weak ICT and security systems.

“On January 2018 the opening stock of coal was 16 015 tonnes, and then they also mined 48 905 tonnes of coal which means that the mine had not sold anything and they were supposed to have a stock pile of 64 920. However, when the surveyor went to do stocktaking he established that there was only 23 438 tonnes left,” he said.

“Of the coal which was ferried, Inducto Save ferried 68,59% of the coal. Hwange Colliery needs $2 million to repair conveyor belts and $2 million to repair the continuous miner, but it looks like someone was interested in seeing trucks ferrying the coal instead of conveyor belts.”

— NewsDay


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