Transport Minister Obert Mpofu ran the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation single-handedly from 20 February 2009 to 13 June 2009 a court was told during the trial of Lovemore Kurotwi and Dominic Mubaiwa who are charged with defrauding the government of US$2 billion.
Mpofu who was Mines Minister at the time is reported to have demanded a US$10 million bribe from Kurotwi to mine diamonds in Marange under his company Core Mining. Mpofu said he would never have asked for anything, even a bottle of water, from Kurotwi because Kurotwi did not have any money.
The ZMDC is a joint partner in all the diamond operations at Marange. Mubaiwa was the chief executive of the ZMDC. Core Mining and ZMDC formed a joint company Canadile Miners to mine diamonds in Chiadzwa.
Kurotwi is alleged to have misled the government into believing that an Israeli conglomerate BSGR was backing his company.
Mpofu admitted meeting Kurotwi and “two whites” alone in Bulawayo and several times at his office in Harare. He said he did not keep any minutes of the meetings but kept notes but he could not give those notes to Kurotwi’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa.