Mines ministry secretary Francis Gudyanga in $1,3m scandal

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Mines ministry secretary Francis Gudyanga has been dragged into a $1,3 million scandal involving an agro­company — Pedstock — following allegations that he used the firm as a conduit to transfer money to a little­known organisation, Glamel.

On Monday, Parliament’s Mines and Energy committee heard that Gudyanga, as Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) chairman, authorised transactions which saw funds being transferred into Glamel’s offshore account through Pedstock — an agro division of Nikuv International Projects.

The issue, which surfaced early this year, saw the Daniel Shumba­led committee summoning Pedstock managing director, Dror Jackson — named in the infamous Panama externalisation leaks — to explain his organisation’s role in the transactions. However, Jackson, who according to Shumba “found it hard to tell the truth to the committee”, appeared in the company of his lawyer and could not be nudged into divulging requested information.

francis-gudyanga

“I was merely a conduit in these transactions. Upon receiving authorisation from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and Mines ministry, I made the transfer of a little over $1 million to Glamel’s overseas account and paid the Glamel representatives in cash,” Jackson said. Jackson, an Israeli national, told the committee that he had no personal connections with Gudyanga. He pointed out that he was also unaware of the technicalities around business between MMCZ and Glamel.

Their agreement is confidential and I am unable to say anything beyond that, Glamel approached me and I acted as a conduit. It was a purely business transaction and I received a three percent commission from this,” Jackson said. However, Shumba pointed out that Jackson had acted outside his legal confinements given Pedstock was an agricultural company.

You are an irrigation business and have rightfully said that you installed irrigation equipment to Gudyanga’s farm worth $50 000 and invoiced the Glamel invoices to MMCZ as payment for border control services.” “Now, my question to you is; as an agricultural company are you also licensed as a financial services company? Because in performing financial services it is only fitting that the RBZ should have licensed you to do this to avoid externalisation concerns,” Shumba queried.

But Jackson said he had processed the transaction with the blessings of the RBZ. He is expected to appear before the committee on November 28 along with the Glamel representatives he paid in cash. Jackson also owns British Virgin Islands­registered Pedflora — Nikuv division. Recently, the Shumba­led committee summoned Gudyanga over legalities around the controversial formation of Zimbabwe’s sole diamond company — Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company

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