GOKWE-Nembudziya legislator Justice Mayor Wadyajena, who is jointly charged with Cotton Company of Zimbabwe bosses on fraud and money laundering involving over US$5,8 million, had his passport temporarily released to allow him to travel to the United Kingdom and Germany on Parliament business.
Harare regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje released Wadyajena’s passport to September 26.
He also relaxed his bail conditions during the period of his travel.
Wadyajena is jointly charged with suspended Cottco CEO Pious Manamike, suspended Cottco marketing manager Maxmore Njanji and another Cottco official, Fortunate Molai, Pierpont Moncroix Zimbabwe (Pvt) Limited and Mayor Logistics (Pvt) Limited.
Wadyajena and the Cottco bosses are alleged to have converted money meant for the importation of bale ties and bought 25 trucks through Mayor Logistics, where Wadyajena is believed to be a director, and allegedly diverted a second order for ties to energy companies.
Yesterday, Wadyajena, through his lawyer Mr Oliver Marwa, applied for the temporary release of his passport saying he wanted to attend trade fairs in London and Germany.
The passport was held by the Clerk of Court as part of his bail conditions.
“His work requires him to travel extensively and he had initially asked the court not to ask him to surrender passport to obviate these applications.
“He is set to travel to London and Germany for the purpose of attending a pre-arranged tobacco fair and Zimbabwe Outward Trade Fair from September 3 to 10 and from September 14 to 18 September, respectively.
“He has been cleared by Cabinet to be on the trip and it is funded by Parliament of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Wadyajena and his co-accused were expected back in court on September 8, but Mr Marwa suggested that an administrative warrant of arrest be issued on the day and they will make necessary arrangements on his return.
The State led by Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti consented to the applciation, before Mr Mambanje released the passport.
The application was made in Wadyajena’s absence.
Prominent analyst Ibbo Mandaza has described Zanu-PF Gokwe-Nembudziya legislator Justice Mayor Wadyajena as “arrogant” after he dared the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) to confiscate all his property.
Wadyajena made the utterances recently after Zacc seized his fleet of trucks, which will be held pending the outcome of a court case where he is accused of fraud together with three Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) executives.
Wadyajena and his co-accused: Pious Manamike (54), Maxmore Njanji (47), Fortunate Maloi (34) and Chiedza Danha (39) were recently granted $100 000 bail each by Harare magistrate Stenford Mambanje.
They are facing fraud and money laundering charges involving US$5,8 million. While addressing Zanu-PF supporters at a local school in his constituency last week, Wadyajena taunted Zacc saying it should go on and take everything that belonged to him.
During a presentation at the Centre for Natural Resources Governance’s 10th anniversary celebrations in Harare, Mandaza described Wadyajena’s utterances as “shocking and scary”.
He said the arrogance being displayed by Wadyajena showed that he could have a lot of money stashed elsewhere.
“When I heard the Gokwe-Nembudziya MP boasting saying that Zacc should take everything, I think this was meant to say that he has enough money elsewhere, and that was arrogant. You get scared. l also believe criminality in this country should just stop,” Mandaza said
He said Zimbabwe should account for all looted funds stashed outside the country; including the missing US$15 billion that the late former President Robert Mugabe alleged was looted from Chiadzwa diamond fields.
“It’s true that in Zimbabwe we lost US$15 billion dollars worth of diamonds. Zimbabwe will have to one day account for the loot that is outside the country and make our economy get going again. It’s very unfortunate that it is difficult to travel to Victoria Falls by road because of poor roads when the country has natural resources.
“The Zimbabwean economy is in shambles, and something needs to be done urgently,” Mandaza added.