gtag('config', 'UA-12595121-1'); ZACC admits challenges in arresting Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu – The Zimbabwe Mail

ZACC admits challenges in arresting Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu

Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu
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HARARE – Fraud suspects and business partners Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu gave officers a hard time when attempts were made to arrest them Tuesday, Harare magistrate Marewanazvo Gofa was told Thursday.

Speaking in court while opposing bail application, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) investigating officer Gamuchirai Zimunhu said they spent the better part of Tuesday looking for the two.

Zimunhu said the two later promised to visit ZACC offices by 6PM on Tuesday but never showed up.

“They will continue to interfere with investigations because when they visited our offices, they took some video and posted them on social media,” Zimunhu said.

“Public disorder may arise; people will no longer trust the justice system in that ZACC catches and releases people.

“Accused may abscond from court. On Tuesday 25 June, we spent the greater part of the day manhunting for them and they were not at their place of residence.

“We called them on Monday after they left. When Mr Chapwanya (the other IO) called Mr Mugiya to advise him that we wanted to see his client, Mr Chimombe said he was out of Harare and Mpofu was at his farm in Zvimba.

“He promised to bring them before 6PM but they didn’t come and Mugiya promised to bring them on Tuesday and we waited for them up to mid-day.

“Mr Chapwanya advised Mugiya that his clients had turned hostile, which resulted in teams to be deployed to manhunt the accused persons,” she said.

Chimombe and Mpofu were arrested on Wednesday around 10AM after they finally handed themselves in.

Zimunhu also said she was not satisfied with address given by Mpofu.

“I’m not sure if he stays at Greendale house because the house is not yet complete. The gardener was present when we went there,” she added.

Zimunhu said about five witnesses are lined up to testify against the duo.

Meanwhile, prosecutor Anesu Chirenje made an application for the other IO to testify this Friday.

Prosecutors say the fraud charges emanate from tender documents submitted by the two suspects through a company called Blackdeck Private Limited in September 2021 when the Ministry of Lands and Agriculture invited bids for the supply of 632,001 goats under a scheme worth US$87,757,168 to distribute goats nationally, whose beneficiaries would pass on the animals to the next needy household after kidding.

They say after winning the tender, it was Blackdeck Livestock and Poultry Farming, an unregistered company, which signed documents with the ministry.

Mpofu represented the company and Chimombe acted as a witness.

On further review of Blackdeck Private Limited’s documents, it is alleged that the company had no valid tax clearance certificate from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority for 2021, and that a QR code attached to the National Social Security compliance certificate belonged to a different company called Skywalk Investments.

Both documents were required for one to be eligible to bid for the tender.

Acting on the misrepresentations, prosecutors say the ministry went on to pay 30 percent of the contract in the local currency, an amount of ZWL1.6 billion which was allegedly equivalent to US$7,712,197 in two instalments on April 21, 2022, and June 29, 2022.

Following delays in delivering the goats, the ministry engaged Blackdeck and was informed that the company had mobilised 32,500 goats across the provinces which were ready to be distributed to the final beneficiaries.

A verification process by the ministry at various sites, it is alleged, however showed that the company only had 3,713 goats.

“After the ministry of lands realised that they were being deceived by the accused persons they then cancelled the contract on August 29, 2022,” charges the NPA.

To date, the prosecution says 4,208 goats worth US$331,445.25 have been delivered and the ministry was prejudiced of US$7,380,751.85.

In a statement issued last week, both men denied the charges. They argue that the dispute with the ministry is a commercial matter and not criminal.

They say the cancellation of the tender, which was to run for five years, has been referred to arbitration.


Source: ZimLive