Harare couple’s US$95,000 home seized after purchase funds linked to fraud

NMB Bank, Nyasha Dumbu
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HARARE – The state has successfully forfeited an upmarket home belonging to a former Assistant Finance Manager at NMB Bank, Nyasha Dumbu and his wife Heather after proving that the house, worth US$95,000 was bought using crime proceeds.

This follows an application for civil forfeiture by prosecutor General Loice Matanda-Moyo on suspicion that the property was tainted.

High Court judge Benjamin Chikowero, after hearing submissions from both parties, ruled in favour of the PG ordering immediate forfeiture of the house in Arlington Estate.

The judge also ruled that Dumbu’s wife, by concealing the offence, was guilty of money laundering.



“Where the first and second respondents (Dumbu and Heather) got the huge amounts to pay the purchase price, a few days after the theft, is, in my view, directly linked to the theft.”

He added, “Indeed, by participating in, associating with, aiding and facilitating the acquisition and transfer of title in the property in question to conceal that it was the proceeds of the serious offence of theft, the second respondent (Heather), on the civil standard of proof, committed the offence of money laundering.

“Ultimately, I have found that the property itself is proceeds of conduct constituting or associated with the serious offence of theft. Any other conclusion is not possible on the evidence,” the judge ruled.

The judge ordered Dumbu’s wife to complete and sign all such papers and documents necessary to transfer the right, title and interest in the property within seven days.

The court heard between January 2021 and April 2021, Dumbu whilst on duty as the Assistant Finance Manager at NMB Bank Zimbabwe, Borrowdale branch, Harare connived with Arthur Munhuuripi, an accounts clerk, to steal ZW $23,425,701-96 from the bank.

The money was equivalent to US$280,046 at that time.

Dumbu’s duties included approving payments before the bank effected same while Munhuuripi’s duties, among others, encompassed capturing payments made by his employers.

“The modus operandi employed by the duo was that Munhuuripi raised fraudulent payment instructions purporting that organizations called Vertcord Investments and Simrac Enterprise had rendered certain services to NMB Bank Zimbabwe and were entitled to receive payment which, on four occasions, totalled ZWL$23,425,701.96.

“Dumbu approved the payments. Once the payments landed in Vetcord Investments and Simrac Enterprise’s accounts the money was withdrawn and handed over to Dumbu and Munhuuripi,” it was proven.

Pursuant to the discovery of the offence in April 2021, Munhuuripi was arrested and made to appear before the Magistrates Court to answer fraud and money laundering charges.

Dumbu could not be arrested because after he fled the country without even resigning from his job.

It is common cause that this triggered the issuance of a Warrant of Arrest and an Interpol Red Notice against the first respondent, the court said.

Dumbu allegedly bought a house worth US$95,000.

His wife purported to have paid cash to Chengetai Dziwa and Sisa sibanda.

For reasons she did not explain in court, Manokore Attorneys drew up the Memorandum of Agreement of Cession reflecting her name as the only cessionary.

Dumbu’s name was omitted.

By the time this Memorandum of Agreement of Cession was signed (17 May 2021), Dumbu had fled the country as the offence committed by him and Munhuuripi at NMB Bank Zimbabwe had been detected.

Dumbu’s wife had insisted that she personally bought the house using the money she acquired through a loan.

She annexed to her opposing affidavit a loan agreement with Citizens Legal Funeral and Finance Services (Private ) Limited.

The document suggested that the latter lent and advanced an amount of US$100,000 to her and in turn she had pledged five motor vehicles and “30% share in Vincus Investments (Pvt) Ltd” as security for the loan.

The loan agreement was dated 15 January 2021.

Her lawyer Ms Damiso urged the court to accept, as reasonable, the explanation that Heather borrowed US$100,000 from Citizens Legal Funeral and Finance Services to boost her mining venture, and retained US$95,000 from the loan amount to purchase the property in question.

The judge found it unbelievable.

“This explanation is completely unacceptable. It is just a bare averment.

“It is not backed up by any evidence. The fact that the explanation is contained in an affidavit does not transform it into evidence,” said the judge.

“There also is no evidence that the sum of US$95,000 changed hands between the second respondent on the one hand and Chengetai Dziwa and Patience Sibanda on the other.

“It is not disputed that the first respondent and Munhuuripi had, acting in connivance, recently stolen huge sums of money from the bank,” he noted.

The judge said the fact that Dziwa and Sibanda had written a letter purporting to have sold a house to the couple four days after the money was stolen was not coincidental but planned to conceal the offence. – ZimLive