Asa clears Muganyi

A preliminary investigation into allegations of misappropriation of Freda Rebecca funds amounting to $7 million has cleared the gold mine’s former managing director Toindepi Muganyi, dismissing the accusations as sour grapes from recently dismissed directors.

Mr Muganyi, who used to run the Asa Resource Plc subsidiary, is now the group’s interim chief executive following the sacking of Yat Hoi Ning over allegations of asset stripping and externalisation of more than $15 million.

The group also dismissed then finance director Yim Kwan, Edmund Zhang (chief procurement officer) and Yuan Hu Ching (non-executive director). Recent reports said Mr Zhang had written to the Asa board raising a litany of allegations against Mr Muganyi which include prejudicing Freda Rebecca Gold Mine of $7,67 million through the acquisition of “overpriced” second-hand ball mills.

However, in a statement yesterday, Asa Resource legal advisor Barry Dearing said a preliminary report to the allegations against Mr Muganyi had been completed.

“The board of Asa Resource announces that a preliminary report into allegations levelled against (Mr) Muganyi, the interim executive, by Mr Zhang, formerly commercial manager of Asa Resource has concluded that Mr Muganyi followed correct processes and procedures, obtaining the proper authorisations required for the ball mill project, which commenced in 2016.

“The report also noted that Mr Muganyi maintained accurate communication on the project progress, clearly disclosing all the facts,” said Mr Dearing. “He has not been involved in any form of corruption or used his position of authority or the ball mill project to gain any personal advantage or benefit. He acted in line with required procedures and good corporate governance,” he said.

Mr Dearing said the board of Asa Resource was made aware of the ball mill project by Mr Muganyi at meetings in June, September and December 2016 and inspected the partly completed project in December.

“While the full report has yet to be considered by the boards of Asa Resource and FRGM, the directors consider that the allegation against Mr Muganyi should be clarified as soon as possible,” said Mr Dearing.

He added that it should be noted that Mr Zhang absented himself from his employment without permission during the course of an enquiry into procurement procedures over which he was supposed to be monitoring and his employment had subsequently been terminated.

Mr Dearing said Mr Zhang is still wanted for questioning in relation to a number of matters including the suspected irregular purchase of a crane from China for $615 000 when Mr Kwan told other officers of Asa that his Chinese procurement team had bought the crane for $200 000 to save on hire costs.

He said Mr Kwan was a director of the companies involved in the ball mill project during 2016 and 2017 and raised none of the concerns expressed by Mr Zhang with any of the boards involved.–herald