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Royal Bafokeng subsidiary embroiled in Zimbabwe fuel confusion?

by Staff reporter
01 Nov 2018 at 06:13hrs | Views
Government insiders have alleged that President Emmerson Mnangagwa's special advisor Christopher Mutsvangwa, was hammering Sakunda Holdings boss Kudakwashe Tagwirei because he was keen to replace dominance of Sakunda with MOGS Oil & Gas Services - a Johannesburg-based fuels company which owns and operates pipelines, fuel storage facilities and other oil and gas infrastructure across Africa and further afield, according to Zim Techreview forums.

MOGS is controlled by Royal Bafokeng MOGS (Pty) Ltd, a company part of a group of entities which fall under Royal Bafokeng Holdings (Pty) Ltd.

Mutsvangwa, who has been vocal about breaking Sakunda's monopoly in the fuel industry, was said to be MOGS' front, and reportedly approached Mnangagwa with a proposal to have the pan-African leader in the oil and gas midstream infrastructure sector to build a second fuel pipeline from Feruka.

He was said to be in partnership on the MOGS deal with former senior MDC official Eddie Cross.

The Daily News heard that towards elections, Mutsvangwa reportedly told Mnangagwa that he had been working with Cross on the MOGS deal since the coup and that Cross will no longer root for opposition leader Nelson Chamisa in the elections.

Cross has since exited the MDC Alliance after pouring scorn on the party.

Reached for comment, Cross said "there is a measure of truth" in the claims.

He said he has been involved in talks to have MOGS build a second pipeline since the days of the government of national unity (GNU), a project he said was mooted by then Energy minister Elton Mangoma.

"During the GNU, I was asked by Mangoma to find a company which could build a new pipeline from Beira to Harare to supply regional states from regional fuel pool in Harare, centred in Mabvuku, where we have a large fuel storage facility that can take 400 000 cubic metres of fuel," Cross told the Daily News.

He said he embarked on a programme to find a suitable partner and opened talks with MOGS.

Cross said the deal was put on ice after the dissolution of the GNU.

Then after the coup, Cross said he was asked by Mnangagwa as part of his 100-day plan to revive the deal with MOGS.

He said a deal was reached on December 13, 2017 with MOGS.

Cross said at the end of January, the deal was put to Cabinet but was blocked by "senior elements".

"The reason given was that the pipeline was a strategic asset and (a) private company can't own shares," Cross said.

Mutsvangwa rubbished the allegations made against him yesterday.

"I have completely nothing to do with this except promoting those who want to invest. Ask (the) permanent secretary in the ministry of Defence. This company MOGS has been here since 1994. All companies come to my office. It's one of many; there are 15 other companies that are interested," Mutsvangwa told the Daily News.

Asked if he was in a partnership with Cross, Mutsvangwa said: "It's nonsense."

Asked if Cross was a front for MOGS, Mutsvangwa said: "I don't know, I can't speak for other people. I can only speak about companies that come to my office. Why don't you speak to Eddie, I can't speak about Eddie's business."

The Daily News revealed that Mnangagwa met with Errol Gregor, the chief executive officer of MOGS, on Monday to tie up the deal to start work on the second pipeline, with the project said to be worth $800 million.

The meeting was also attended by Joram Gumbo, the minister of Energy.

This has heightened tensions with Sakunda.