Changezimbabwe has it on good authority that the Zanu PF) legislator who we earlier reported as being on the run from Police, Mashonaland Central MP David Butau, is now wanted in connection with the illegal externalisation of about US$10 million. This could be part the Mugabe/Gono selective prosecution, but it is taking corruption right into the Vice President's Office.
Butau is the chief executive of General Mujuru's companies and is heavily involved in Zanu PF Vice-President Joice Mujuru's business and political life. Our source said: “Police have records pertaining to the transactions which Butau was involved in, the people he was seeing before and after the transactions, and where he went and with whom.”
Police spokesman Asst Comm. Wayne Bvudzijena, however refused to be drawn into the details of the case, only confirming police now believe the MP is willfully evading the police and repeating Monday’s appeal for Butau’s whereabouts, and asking him to report to police to clarify certain information involving exchange control matters.
"Hon Butau is now on the police wanted list and it is in his own interest to report to the police immediately. He is wanted in connection with violations of the Exchange Control Regulations," said Asst Comm Bvudzijena.
Butau is chief executive of Dande Holdings, the holding company for General Solomon and Joice Mujuru’s vast holdings in the country. It is the vehicle through which the family has made millions in local and foreign currency. The retired General’s Mujuru’s daughter is also an employee of the family business.
On a recent trip to Orient by vice-president Joice Mujuru, her company singed a number of deals with the Chiinese. Dande Capital Holdings, and the little known Ele Resources – also rumoured to be a family business - signed a memorandum of understanding with China National Construction and Agricultural Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMAC), and China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC), for projects worth over US$1.3bn.
The investment includes building two thermal power stations in Dande, the sale of minerals, and the development of a chrome mine in the same area. Zimbabwe sold chrome totalling 257,575 tons and worth $176m in 2005 and 258,565 tons ($173m) in the previous year.
One agreement, worth $200m, involves the development of agriculture and mining, the supply of machinery, and the sale of minerals to China. China promises the development of a sugar and paper milling plant in the Zambezi Valley. A second agreement provides for the supply of equipment and machinery in return for a chrome mine in the Dande area.
Ele Resources signed an agreement with CMAC for development of a coal mine in Dande and two thermal power plants with a combined 1,200 megawatts capacity. The $800m power sets will be fed coal from a concession in the area.
Changezimbabwe is aware of Dande Holdings monthly trips to China, where groups of up to 50 women from the Mashonaland CentralConstituency are taken on shopping trips to the Far East. In fact, Butau has just returned from one such trip, landing in the country just three days before the police call for him to report in.
Political analysts said the arrest of Butau was also meant to send a message to the Mujuru camp that their time was up. The camp has over the past 11 months been dithering with an interest for the top political post in the country, but were outwitted by the wily Mugabe who roped in another presidential aspirant, Emmerson Munangagwa, to his camp and effectively neutralized the Mujurus.
Now they are paying the price. Already, their banker, James Mushore, is in prison; their AG, Gula-Ndebele faces a tribunal, and now their top man faces imprisonment.“If Butau does not hand himself over by end of day today, he will skip the country,” said the source.