President Emmerson Mnangagwa deliberately used the sex scandal that rocked former Vice President Kembo Mohadi as a launch pad to fire him and secure his family business interests in Beitbridge and Penhalonga a report by The NewsHawks website has claimed.
According to the NewsHawks, Mnangagwa had been clashing with his then deputy Mohadi over a dry port project in Beitbridge and a gold mine in Penhalonga. It is reported that Mohadi and Mnangagwa’s families invaded the area, turning it into a vast artisanal mining field.
According to the NewsHawks at the time of his exit, Mohadi was also unhappy that he had been left out of the US$300 million border renovation and modernisation project by Zimborders Consortium, fronted by its chairman Glynn Cohen, linked to the Mnangagwa family.
“Mohadi two years ago set up a dry port project called Malindi Dry Port with some local business. He has vast tracts of land in Beitbridge.
“A fight subsequently erupted among the Malindi partners and as a result some of them pulled out to set up their own project. They then invited some members of the Mnangagwa family, but Mohadi was unimpressed and upset by the move.
“He then protested to the Mnangagwas, who were themselves not happy with his bid to push them out of Beitbridge. The dispute deteriorated as Mohadi insisted that the Mnangagwa family members should not come to Beitbridge to seize opportunities from him – take bread from his mouth. That became a sore point between them,” sources said.
The sources added that Mohadi was not under any illusions why he was forced out after his sex scandal. “He is aware of the real reasons why he was removed. Ask him, he will tell if you can convince him to talk.”
The Centre for Natural Resources Governance (CNRG), a local environmental rights group said one mine, Redwing Mine, had become a battlefront for politicians.
“The closure of Redwing Mine offered an opportunity to political elites, the politically connected and securocrats who, with the aid of the organised syndicates, are exploiting the mine’s claims dotted around Penhalonga and Tsvingwe for profit without due care for the environment.
“The conversion of Redwing Mine to a huge artisanal mining field has caused political and
socio-environmental disputes within the Penhalonga and Tsvingwe communities.
“The politically connected have been displacing other artisanal miners from the mining field. There are reports that some artisanal miners have lost their gold-rich pits and ore to syndicate leaders fronting political and security figures.
CNRG added the involvement of politicians, “has undermined the rule of law, stability and livelihoods of affected communities. Corruption, sometimes coupled with intimidation and violence, has become common.
“There is a clandestine secretive consortium which holds the strings of artisanal mining in Penhalonga. These networks tend to be transactional, determined and are controlled by a few individuals at key points in the artisanal gold supply chains.”