Legal woes mount for Delma Lupepe amidst allegations of mine takeover fraud

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Delma Lupepe, a prominent businessman and former Amazulu Football Club owner, is once again in the spotlight for legal troubles. Known for his previous brushes with the law, including the loss of his home over a $200,000 bank loan in 2019, Lupepe now faces serious allegations of fraudulently seizing a 250-hectare mine in the Matopo District.

Lupepe, who also once served as a Zimpapers board member, is accused of unlawfully taking control of Duive Enterprises Private Limited with the aid of Bekithemba Maphosa, a disgruntled shareholder in the mining company. According to documents obtained by our reporters, Lupepe’s takeover of Duive Enterprises, originally founded in 1999 by a group of youths led by Innocent Mlandu Siziba, has sparked significant controversy.

The saga began in 2010 when Siziba invested in gold mining and applied for an abandoned gold mine in Matopo District at Nyadeni Farm 1091, formerly known as Nugget Mine. The mine had last been operational in 1992 under a Mr. Range. After successfully applying for the land, Duive Enterprises invited new directors, including Siziba, Maphosa, Auther Mutaisi, Stanley Dube, Keen Gatsi, and Shepard Ngwenya. Siziba held 1,000 shares initially, which increased to 7,000 after the new structure was established. Maphosa received 6,000 shares for his on-ground contributions, and Mutaisi was allocated 1,000 shares for administrative duties.

In 2013, Duive Enterprises was awarded a Special Mining Grant under the government’s Indigenous Programme. However, the harmony was short-lived. On May 27, 2014, Maphosa allegedly attempted to alter the company structure unilaterally, granting himself an additional 6,000 shares without the consent or knowledge of other partners. This led to a police report being filed at Bulawayo Central Police Station (IR 4330/14) and an urgent chamber application being submitted to the High Court under case HC 1258/14.

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The situation further deteriorated when Duive Enterprises’ investor, Amandwandwe, received a letter from their lawyers, Mashayamombe and Partners. The law firm, which had previously represented Duive Enterprises, was now also representing a new set of directors and shareholders, including Lupepe. This surprising turn of events revealed that the company’s documents at the registry had been altered, listing Lupepe as the total shareholder and replacing the original directors.

Subsequently, a series of legal actions ensued, including another fraud case filed with the central and commercial crimes unit. Despite these efforts, the court has seen little movement on the case over nearly a decade, leading to significant financial losses for the original shareholders.

Further documents indicate that on March 10, 2018, Lupepe self-issued 80,000 shares, and by March 12, 2018, Maphosa was formally resigned. Maphosa is said to have sold the mining company to Lupepe for $56,000, and Lupepe has since been controversially awarded mining renewal licenses under Duive Enterprises, continuing operations on the land.

This high-stakes battle over the mine, now clouded by accusations of fraud and forgery, has added another chapter to Lupepe’s controversial legacy.

 

Mandla Ndlovu

Meet Mandla Ndlovu, our Editor-in-Chief at ZimScribes Online Magazine. With a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for diverse narratives, Mandla curates and leads our team in delivering captivating and thought-provoking content that celebrates the rich tapestry of Zimbabwe's culture, people, and experiences

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