The government-owned Kuvimba Mining House which has been a subject of speculation since its formation with some reports saying it is owned by controversial businessman Kuda Tagwirei came under the spotlight last week when Harare North legislator Norman Markham demanded to know who owns it, what it owns and how it got what it owns.
The response from Deputy Finance Minister Clemence Chiduwa was quite interesting and seemed to have raised a lot more unanswered questions.
Though the mining house has been in the news recently as the one that is going to revive the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO), the former steel giant was not mentioned among its subsidiaries.
Dzivaresekwa legislator Edwin Mushoriwa literally protested that Chiduwa was lying to Parliament.
Here is what fully transpired.
ESTABLISHMENT PROCESS OF KUVIMBA MINING HOUSE
MARKHAM asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to explain the following to the House:
- the establishment process and date of creation of Kuvimba Mining House;
- The legal instrument for its establishment, given that Government is the majority shareholder;
- Who the shareholders are, the percentage of their shares and what the contributions are in the company;
- Where the company is registered and what its sister or sub companies are;
- who are the other shareholders directors with interests in the company and to further clarify whether the directors of the company since its inception have changed;
- What the current asset value of Kuvimba Mining House is – including definable resources;
- and to further confirm whether a tender was issued for any disposal or acquisitions of State assets and/or enterprises.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, in response to the questions asked by the Hon. Member regarding Kuvimba Mining House. Kuvimba Mining House Private Limited is a private company incorporated in accordance with the laws of Zimbabwe. It was registered in September, 2020. The legal instrument, Kuvimba Mining House is a company registered in accordance with the Companies and Other Business Entities Act. Government and other special interest groups acquired ordinary shares in the company resulting in the company becoming a shareholder along with other shareholders. The shareholders are as follows:
- Government of Zimbabwe with a shareholding of 21.5%,
- Datvest Nominees which is on behalf of farmers’ compensation with 12.5%,
- National Venture Fund Private Limited with 7.5%,
- Public Service Pension Management Fund with 7%,
- Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe with 6.5%,
- Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC) with 5%,
- Deposit Protection Corporation with 5% and
- Other private sector investors with 35%.
On where the company is registered and what its sister or sub companies are, the company is registered in Zimbabwe. The company’s sister companies are as follows:
- Zimbabwe Alloys Limited;
- Freda Rebecca Gold Mine;
- Shamva Mining Company (Pvt) Ltd;
- Bindura Nickel Corporation;
- Great Dyke Investments (Pvt) Ltd;
- Jena Mines Mineral (Pvt) Ltd and
- Mineral Development (Pvt) Ltd
- Sandawana Mines.
Mr. Speaker, the other shareholders are as explained earlier on and the directors of the company have not changed save for two resignations in 2021 and 2022. On the current asset value, I presume the Hon. Member is seeking to ascertain the company’s net value. The company is in the process of finalising its audited accounts which will inform its current asset value. To further confirm whether a tender was issued, ZMDC went into a joint venture arrangement relating to some of its distressed non-performing assets which were reeling under severe debt.
Mr. Speaker Sir, employees in the affected companies faced job losses as the companies were unable to pay salaries to its own workers. ZMDC took the action in order to provide an opportunity to resuscitate operations and enable the companies to contribute to the economy by bringing them back to production. The procurement and consummation of the transaction was done in terms of the Joint Ventures Act (22:22) which is the predecessor to the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agents Act. That is the procurement method which was accepted under the applicable legal regime at the time. I submit for now Hon. Speaker.
HON. MARKHAM: My supplementary question is that in a court case in South Africa, the directors were listed as David Brown, Joseph Clifford Bare, Christian Alexander Weber, John Finlson and Ronald Sinclare…..
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: With all due respect Hon. Markham, is that court case in South Africa still on or not.
HON. MARKHAM: It is finished. The companies listed in a court case are seven South African companies, my point is these companies do not and are not reflected here in Zimbabwe. What are South Africans doing running Kuvimba which is supposed to be our asset? Do we not have someone good enough in this country to represent our assets?
In the said court case, the affidavit was signed by one Kuda Tagwirei and his report has nothing to do with that. It is actually, obviously a different company. So, could the Minister explain how we got from that situation to the current situation with registered people that he is talking about in Zimbabwe? I thank you.
HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. What is guiding us is what is lodged and registered with the Registrar of Companies. We are not here to discuss court cases and anything that is outside, that I think is beyond me. For me, what I used is what is with the deeds. This is what I responded to and any other information, I think the Hon. Member is privy to provide us with that information. What is critical is the legal information which is with the deeds and that is what I did.
HON. MARKHAM: On a point of order! My reference to the court case is to prove the source documents for who owns and is responsible for Kuvimba Mining House. If it has changed, how did it change? I used the court case only as the source document as to what I have. It appears the Hon. Minister is not happy to explain what is happening in South Africa pertaining to Kuvimba.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Unfortunately Hon. Markham, in this House, we do not debate things that are under the courts, whether it is here or outside Zimbabwe.
HON. MARKHAM: I fully understand. The court case is finished, it has been ruled on, and it has been adjudicated, hence the two resignations he is talking of – [HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] – You are not the Minister who is supposed to answer the question.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Markham!
HON. MARKHAM: I want an answer to the questions. These are national assets, they are gone.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I am not protecting the Minister but you heard the Minister saying that if you have got relevant information, you are supposed to avail that to the Minister so that he can make some investigations.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Mr. Speaker. However, my question has been sitting on this Order Paper for three months. Secondly, if you look at the Order Paper, all the questions are mine and they are not answering my questions. I have also stated to this House, we are waiting for four Ministerial Statements from Ministers that I have asked and they have not answered.
The Chair always protects the Ministers and they do not answer and when they do not answer, you still protect them. So, where is the error?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: That is a serious accusation Hon. Markham. I think I told you what the Minister has said, maybe you did not understand him. He told you that if there is any relevant information that you have got, please make it available to the Minister so much that he can give you appropriate answers to the questions. There is no need for you to argue with me, my decision is final.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Having listened to the Hon. Minister explaining the directorship of Kuvimba Mining House, I think it is only fair that if the Minister’s answer is legitimate, we request that the Hon. Minister be compelled by this august House to bring copies that he claims he lodged with the Deeds Office pertaining to the directorship of Kuvimba Mining House.
Hon. Speaker, we believe the Minister is actually walking on a thin line of misleading this august House because the directorship of Kuvimba is not as mentioned by the Hon. Minister. So we compel the Hon. Minister to submit copies into this august House.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order!
HON. MUSHORIWA: On a point of order! The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs cannot try to be a super Minister and try to overpower the Minister of Finance and Economic Development – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order! Your supplementary question has been understood that you are requesting copies of all the directors.
HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I think the Hon. Member knows that the Deeds Office is a public office. I will bring back exactly what I have brought now. So should you query what is here, we are saying the Deeds Office is a public office and you are free to go and check – [HON. MUSHORIWA: Inaudible interjection.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mushoriwa. I think his answer is very clear, if you have got some issues that you would want some clarifications from the Minister, he has actually directed you where you are supposed to get the directors of this company – [HON. MUSHORIWA: Inaudible interjection.] –My decision is final.
SUBMISSION OF REPORTS, STRATEGIC PLANS AND RESULTS OF KUVIMBA MINING HOUSE
HON. MARKHAM asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, as manager of State assets and funds, to explain to the House why the Ministry has not submitted reports, strategic plans, and results of Kuvimba Mining House for consecutive years since its inception in accordance with the Public Entities and Corporate Governance Act [Chapter 10: 31].m
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, as I explained earlier, Government of Zimbabwe owns 21, 5% shareholding in Kuvimba Mining House. As such, the Ministry receives information on the company that a shareholder is entitled under the Companies and Other Businesses Entities Act. To that extent, as I have explained earlier, the company will be submitting its audited financial statements to its shareholders once they are finalised. This will be tabled at the company’s AGM.
HON. MARKHAM: I would like clarity from the Minister as to when we expect this year’s documents.
HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. As I have already mentioned, the tabling of the financial statements will be done at the AGM of Kuvimba Mining House, not here in Parliament. We are only a shareholder of Kuvimba, so we will only get the documents as a shareholder because it is a private company.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Mr. Speaker, my supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is to ask that in-asmuch as the financial statements are tabled at the AGM, Government being a shareholder of more than 20% of the entity and this Parliament being the oversight board that oversees the Executive. Could the Hon. Minister bring copies of the last financial year and the current year to this august House, bearing in mind that we really want to understand because apparently, if you then check Kuvimba, it is also paying farmers and we want to see the link and performance of the company, purely Mr. Speaker Sir, on that 20% shareholding that is owned by the people of this country.
HON. CHIDUWA: Hon. Speaker, I think I may need to be guided on that because what we are dealing with here is not a listed company. For a listed company, yes, it is a requirement that all these documents can be made public but for us as Government of Zimbabwe, I think what we can only do is, if Kuvimba declares dividends then there is that component that comes to us which is the 21 point something percent – this is what we can declare. As I have said, I may need to be guided but I do not think that it is going to be proper for us to bring the statements of a private company and table them in Parliament. – [HON. MUSHORIWA: Inaudible interjection.] –
HON. MARKHAM: On a point of clarity Hon. Speaker Sir!
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mushoriwa, Hon. Mushoriwa, may you resume your seat? Hon. Markham, what is your point of clarification?
HON. MARKHAM: Point of clarity! Mr. Speaker, if we go back to Question Number One…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Not Question One, we are now on Question Number Two …- [HON. MARKHAM: I know but Mr. Speaker sorry…] – We cannot go back to Question Number One … – [HON. MARKHAM: I am not going back. My point of clarity– is on Question Number Two. …] – Hon. Mushoriwa, Hon. Mushoriwa! Order please!
HON. MARKHAM: Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Minister has just told us that it is a private company – which is fine, I have no problem with that. The company’s assets came from the Government and if you look at 1 (g), it says there – confirm whether a tender was issued for the disposal or acquisition of State assets, hence my reference to Question Number One. Did this private company and what did it pay? Was there a tender for the disposal of massive company assets? I thank you.
HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I think I was very clear to say the disposal or any such acquisition was not done in terms of the Public Disposal but was done in terms of the Ventures Act following the provisions of ZIDA. So, I am not sure if there is any confliction there.
HON. MARKHAM: Mr. Speaker, I do not care how you sugarcoat it. Any disposal of State assets must come to this House and it has not. You can sugarcoat or call it what you like, it is not legal.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Markham, I had given you the floor to pose Question Number Three. I thought the response from the Hon. Minister was so clear and I have given you the opportunity – [HON. MARKHAM: Thank you!] – to pose your Question Number Three.
HON. MARKHAM: Mr. Speaker, on a point of clarity, you are personally comfortable with his answer that the State assets were disposed of legally. I just need clarity on that, are you comfortable Mr. Speaker that State assets for the money and resources in Zimbabwe were disposed of legally? – [HON. CHIDUWA: They were not disposed, they were acquired.] – They were acquired legally? – [HON. ZIYAMBI: What was the question Hon. Markham?] – Mr. Speaker, I cannot say it often enough and if people listened instead of talking they would understand. It is a very simple question. Are the assets of this country, a whole list of mines, was it disposed of or acquired by this company legally, that is all? Could the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs actually answer that question seeing he wants to? I thank you. – [HON. ZIYAMBI: It is a supplementary, I cannot.] –
HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I do not know if I am going to present something that is different. I have already stated that the acquisition of assets by Kuvimba was done legally using the Ventures Act. Again, the Ventures Act is a legal Act. So, I am not sure if there is any difference on that.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Supplementary Mr. Speaker Sir!
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Sorry Hon. Mushoriwa, I think we have had quite a number of supplementary questions on this one – [HON. MUSHORIWA: It was not on this question Hon. Speaker!] – I gave you opportunity I think twice. I gave you opportunity about five times, so no more supplementary questions on this one. – [HON. MUSHORIWA: Inaudible interjection.] – No more supplementary questions and my decision is final; no more – [HON. MUSHORIWA: Inaudible interjection.] – My decision is final, I am sorry – [HON. MUSHORIWA: But you never asked me for this ZIDA because what the Hon. Minister has done is actually misleading the House!] – Now if you are saying he is misleading – [HON. MUSHORIWA: Inaudible interjection.] – Hon. Mushoriwa! Hon. Mushoriwa! Can you withdraw that statement that you said! – [HON. MUSHORIWA: But Mr. Speaker Sir…] – May you withdraw! – [HON. MUSHORIWA: He is talking of an Act that was repealed.] – Order, order Hon. Mushoriwa! I am saying order, may you resume your seat? – [HON. MUSHORIWA: But you need to also guide the Minister!] – I cannot accept the fact that you are saying that the Hon. Minister is misleading the House. I wonder why you are asking questions if you already have appropriate answers. Please sit down! – [HON. MUSHORIWA: But Mr. Speaker Sir…] – No, I cannot entertain any further questions regarding … – [HON. MUSHORIWA: But the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is here, he knows that the Ventures Act was repealed!] – No, the question is not directed and you are not here to debate with me, my decision is final.