Diamond director on the run

lovemore_kurotwiFall-guy Kurotwi accused of fraud
HARARE - A director of a diamond company booted out of the rich Marange diamond fields has gone on the run after being accused of lying and attempting to steal US$300,000 from a Harare law firm that represented the Zimbabwe government at the Kimberley Process talks. (

Canadile Miners director Lovemore Kurotwi, was detained for days for fraudulently misreresenting to government that his company had money to exploit the rich Marange diamond fields, when in fact the company was bankrupt, government alleges.

Kurotwi appeared in court last month, and was granted bail. He has now been hit with a further charge of writing to Farai Mutamangira’s law firm Mutamangira and Associates, demanding back US$300,000 Canadile paid in legal fees to represent Zimbabwe at the KP talks in Jerusalem.

Kurotwi demanded Canadile’s money back after government cancelled its licence to mine the Marange fields. It has emerged that Canadile Miners, Marange Resources, Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation and the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe bankrolled the legal representation rendered to government by the law firm. ZMDC chairman Godwills Masimirembwa and former chairman of Canadile Miners (Pvt) Ltd Cougan Matanhire were said to have lodged a criminal complaint against Kurotwi on Saturday at the Harare Central Police Station, but police say they cant find him. “He is missing,” said a police spokesman. A warrant for his arrest has been taken out.

Detectives are understood to have made extensive efforts to trace Kurotwi, raiding his home on Saturday and hunting for him at the Chikumbirike law firm. Police are now appealing for the public’s help to track him down.

Police said Kurotwi had shown “total disregard” for the law and the police. But his lawyers said he was not on the run. His lawyer George Chikumbirike told The Zimbabwean on Monday: He is not on the run. I will accompany him to the police as soon as he gets back to town.”

The government earlier accused Kurotwi, together with other diamond bosses, of duping the government into believing that a non-existent South African firm was ready to invest $2bn in Zimbabwe in order to obtain a licence for Canadile Miners. The State was told to proceed by way of summons on the matter.

Even before the ink was dry on that acquittal, Kurotwi was again wanted on a further charge of attempting to extort money from government’s lawyers. This is significant because the law firm won approval for Zimbabwe to sell diamonds from the Marange fields, and is naturally the darling of the government.

Observers say the swiftness with which the police have pursued the case is breathtaking.

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