By CJI In a simple calculation, it can be worked out that General Pachinuapa, owner of Mwiriti, which in turn owns 25% in Montepuez R
In a simple calculation, it can be worked out that General Pachinuapa, owner of Mwiriti, which in turn owns 25% in Montepuez Ruby Mining (MRM), netted 17 million and 875 thousand ‘greens’ after MRM’s Singapore auction in December of 2019 resulted in US$ 71.5 million. A considerable ‘slice’ at the reach of those that produce fortunes. But such is not the case of Selemane Assane, the ‘unfortunate’ citizen that discovered the first glowing ruby, which rallied prospectors from all corners of the continent to initiate ‘el dorado’ race for the valuable mineral and attracted the multinational Gemfields to establish in Montepuez. The Investigative Journalism Centre (CJI), in the trails of other affairs related to the general (see here and here), charted Raimundo Domingos Pachinuapa’s business empire, the same who is responsible for building a radiant mansion in an area prohibited by law.
Short history of MRM
As we have previously mentioned in the research about the ‘forefather’ of MRM, the potential deposit saw the light of day after Selemane Assane discovered it in 2009. His discover was so great that the Gemmology Institute in the USA referred to it as the “biggest ruby discovery in the XXI century.”
The auctions of rubies mined in Montepuez’s soils are extremely sought after, generating millions of US Dollars to MRM in profits. For example, in the July-2014’s auction in Singapore, the company made US$ 33.5 million. In a subsequent auction, the revenue reached US$ 122.2 million.
It has been almost a decade since the first ruby deposit was discovered in Namanhumbir, an area a few hundred kilometres from the headquarters of the impoverished Montepuez District. Gemfields has its concession under the auspices of the Mozambican subsidiary Montepuez Ruby Mining, Lda, where it owns 75%. The remaining 25% belong to the Mozambican company Mwiriti, Lda, whose majority shareholder is the historical general and influential Frelimo party member, Raimundo Pachinuapa.
Initially registered with a social object of “service provider in construction industry, food and office materials trading, commerce, wholesale and retail, and agencying,” the company saw it expanded, in 2009, to include also “prospection, analysis, prospection of mineral resources, including import and export,” so it could grab the operation of a 386 square meters deposit of precious stones.
But with a capital share of only 30 thousand Meticais and without the inaptitude to prospect and deal with the international precious stones market, Mwiriti was ready to join an international partner.
The partner arrived, officially, from London on the 19th of September of 2011. However Gemfields was already in the African continent, in Zambia, prospecting emeralds.
After befalling General Pachinuapa’s partner for US$ 2.5 million, the new company – Montepuez Ruby Mining, Lda (MRM) – requested a 33.600 ha mining concession from the Mozambican State on the 20th of September. In less than 2 months the concessions was granted.
Violence, brutality and executions against illegal miners
What has resulted in Montepuez, parallel to the official prospection of precious stones, and after the land was seized from the local farmers, is an intensification of violence and brutality, with reports of executions of alleged illegal miners, by shooting or simply burying them alive. In fact, in the first half of February of 2020, especially in the first weeks, there was a series of landslides, three of which caused the death of more than ten people.
In order to protect its mining concession, initially MRM hired the Mozambican Police (PRM), the regional police and the Rapid Intervention Unit (UIR).
The company went on to hire about a hundred men from a Mozambican private security company, and more than 400 men from a South-African private security company.
Of the building of his business empire
The Freedom Fighter veteran, General Raimundo Domingos Pachinuapa, is one of the oldest members of Frelimo’s Political Commission (PC), the party in power since 1975. The PC is the most important body in Frelimo.
Between party congresses, the general exercises multiple interests in several sectors of economic activity. He is connected to «Macaloe, Lda», a company with a social object of “promoting and implementing general commerce at national and international level, service provision of varied services, representation, importation of sports goods, export of shellfish, processed precious woods…”.
He is also connected to «Moztronic, Lda», with interests in real estate and to «Sociedade de Desenvolvimento do Zitundo, Lda», also with interests in real estate, in tourism and consultancy, in construction industry and environment.
In the energy sector, Pachinuapa is associated to «Energias do Índico, Lda», whose purpose is “production, assembly and installation of renewable energies,” with its social object extending to transports, mineral resources industry and others.
The list goes on, with the general having connections in «EME Investimentos, S.A», whose social object goes from mining and water systems conception and supervision, ending in tourism.
The already mentioned «Mwiriti, Lda» has an extensive social object, from service provision in the areas of construction, food and office supplies, import and export, marketing, wholesale and retail distribution, and agencying. With the General Assembly’s approval, Mwiriti can also exercise, directly or indirectly, any other complementary or subsidiary activities related to its main social object, as long as they don’t contradict the law.
Pachinuapa is also connected to the wood business through «Madeiras Nangade, Lda», which is in turn associated to «Newpalm Internacional». The latter has the involvement of General Chipande.
«PROLAR – Fábrica Moçambicana de Escovas e Vassouras, Limitada» has also got the general’s name affixed.
Lastly, the name of Pachinuapa is attached to «Montepuez Ruby Mining, Lda», which is the partner of ‘own’ company «Mwiriti, Lda» and «Gemfields Mauritius, LTD». The latter’s social object is “prospection and use of precious stones and other minerals; precious stones commerce; commerce of mining products, found or extracted; import and export of products, including equipment and material necessary for its operations.”