By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Courts |
Human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa has petitioned the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to investigate allegations raised in a report by a US investigative group that claims Zimbabwean businessman, Kudakwashe Tagwirei, is using complex corporate structures and seemingly preferential government treatment to build his business empire and enormous wealth.
This comes after a report published last Friday titled “Shadows and Shell Games: Uncovering an Offshore Business Empire in Zimbabwe”, by the Sentry, revealing key details of Tagwirei’s business dealings, which have been linked to alleged corrupt activities.
After its investigations, the organisation established that Tagwirei is presiding over a sprawling network of more than 40 companies spanning the oil, mining, banking, logistics, transportation, and import/export sectors.
It also alleged that the presidential advisor has effectively concealed his control over this empire through an elaborate foreign network, hiding his wealth and ownership through offshore financial structures.
In a letter dated July 7, directed to ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo, Mtetwa attached the report and urged her to investigate allegations raised against Tagwirei.
“The report has been circulating on social media and its contents suggest the existence of corruption, abuse of office, conflict of interest, tax evasion, breaches of the country’s public procurement laws, etc.
“In the event your office might not have seen it, we hereto attach a copy for your attention. In line with your mandate to investigate and expose corruption and power to direct the Commissioner General of Police to investigate cases of suspected corruption, we request that your office investigate the alarming issues exposed by the report,” read the letter.
ZACC spokesperson John Makamure said: “The commission will look at the complaint and take steps it deemed necessary in accordance with Section 255 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.”
The Sentry’s investigation also alleged that Tagwirei is a director of a firm that appears to own 35% of a new, partially state-owned mining company, Kuvimba Mining House, although the Minister of Finance denied his involvement recently.
But in a communique seen by Nehanda Radio on Tuesday, Kuvimba Mining House distanced itself from the report. The mining company also dismissed claims that it is partially owned by Tagwirei.
“Kuvimba notes the contents and distances itself from the report and reiterates that Mr Tagwirei is neither a shareholder, nor is he involved in any activities of the business. In fact, we distance ourselves from Mr Tagwirei,” read the statement.
Meanwhile, the Sentry report claims that in 2019, Tagwirei paid millions of dollars to a Zimbabwean military-owned company so that Landela Mining Ventures, a company he controlled, could purchase 50% of Great Dyke Investments (GDI), a platinum mine worth hundreds of millions and run as a joint venture with a Russian firm.
The payment raises concerns about the abusive and partisan Zimbabwean military’s access to off-budget revenue. It also alleged that Tagwirei has relied upon an elaborate network of South African business partners, Mauritian companies, and Cayman Islands funds to conceal his ties to a rash of lucrative mining sector acquisitions. Nehanda Radio