Former Minister of Energy Advocate Fortune Chasi has refuted reports by Professor Jonathan Moyo that he was removed from being the Minister of Energy after exposing the US$1. 2billion SOTIC deal involving President Emmerson Mnangagwa, General Sibusiso Moyo and Kuda Tagwirei.
Moyo had said, "In May 2019 before Chasi was appointed Energy Minister, SOTIC INTERNATIONAL "signed" a 65 page Deal with NOIC for SOTIC to advance a "loan" of USD 1,2 billion to guarantee that there's always 135 million cubic litres of fuel in the pipeline at Msasa to meet Zim's fuel needs. Under the deal, the USD 1,2 billion "loan" would be paid back with interest over a 10 year period in monthly installments of USD 12 million & NOIC assets were mortgaged to secure the "loan". In effect, by the deal, SOTIC took over NOIC, its assets & ran all its operations!
"When Chasi became Energy Minister, the USD 1,2 billion advance payment had been paid, all NOIC assets had been mortgaged as collateral for the advance payment, SOTIC was running NOIC & demanding only forex for the fuel; thus making it unaffordable to the majority of locals! Without having been briefed on the SOTIC Agreement & thus unaware of its architects & its beneficiaries, @fortunechasi got the deal investigated. Chasi's investigation found that the deal was comprehensively & shockingly detrimental to the national interest on every score! Either bravely or naively, after his investigation, @fortunechasi sought an alternative to the SOTIC deal & negotiated it with GLENCORE. But no alternative was possible to implement; without costing SOTIC its USD 12 million a month or refunding the USD 1,2 billion advance!"
However, on Sunday Chasi issued the following statement:
I have seen a set of tweets Jonathan Moyo suggesting that I caused an investigation into what he calls the SOTIC deal. I have no knowledge of this deal nor did I cause the alleged investigation. I am not sure what the source of the investigation is nor the motive.
In my entire tenure at the ministry, I never caused any investigation or enquiry into anything at NOIC. I had no issues at that level.
I must make it very very clear that I don't harbour any bitterness regarding my current position. I accept the decision to relieve of me of my position as that is the President's prerogative. I remain committed to serve in any capacity whatsoever.
Meanwhile, I shall revert to being a backbencher and continue to work in the constituency and party