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EX DEFENCE MINISTRY OFFICIAL STEALS US$20M newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe


THE National Prosecuting Authority continues to press those
suspected of acquiring wealth through corruption and other criminal activity to
explain how they have bought their houses and cars, with the latest being a
former accountant in the Ministry of Defence and War Veterans Affairs.

Simbarashe Zvineyi is facing fraud and money laundering
charges after he allegedly stole US$20 million from the ministry and bought
several immovable and movable properties in Harare.

He becomes the fourth suspect this week to be issued with
an unexplained wealth order by the High Court after Gokwe-Nembudziya Member of
Parliament Mayor Wadyajena, former top police officer Florence Marume, former
Finance and Economic Development officials Nyaruwanga and Ester Mutesvu.

They are all facing fraud and money laundering charges and
their assets have since been seized by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission
(ZACC) and being held pending the outcome of their fraud trial or an associated
civil action.

While criminal charges have to be proved beyond reasonable
doubt, civil proceedings are decided on the balance of probabilities and the
difference has seen assets forfeited even when there is no successful criminal
prosecution.

In the latest order granted by Justice Pisirayi Kwenda,
Zvineyi (36) is required to give a sworn statement explaining his wealth to the
Head of ZACC’s asset forfeiture and recovery unit.

He has 15 days to give the statement and explain how he
obtained two residential properties in Tynwald and Aspindal Park with a
combined value of US$225 000 and a fleet of eight cars with combined value of
US$43 000.

In addition, Zvineyi is required to produce all supporting
documents and receipts showing proof of enough legal income to buy the houses
and cars. Income needs to come from legitimate business or other legal sources.

Justice Kwenda, while authorising the investigating officer
from ZACC to enter Zvineyi’ premises to seize the listed assets, interdicted
Zvineyi from disposing of the houses and cars.

When he first appeared in court in January 2020, Zvineyi
was charged with fraud and money laundering for allegedly stealing US$20
million and buying four houses in Harare, a fleet of 25 taxis and four cars
between January 2010 and December 2019.

Allegations against Zvineyi are that between January 2010
and the end last year, he and Danison Muvandi – who was a top accounting
officer in the same ministry – defrauded the Defence Ministry.

Muvandi, who is still at large, using his position and
influence, would misrepresent that there were classified operations to be
carried out and allegedly instructed chief accountant Lameck Jackson to deposit
funds into Zvineyi’s accounts in NMB Bank, CBZ, CABS and Steward Bank, using
Zvineyi’s vendor number.

There were no such classified operations.

Acting on the alleged lies, Jackson reportedly transferred
into Zvineyi’s bank accounts payments ranging from US$40 000 to US$66 000
during the decade. The pair would then allegedly share the loot.

From investigations carried out so far, the Ministry of
Defence has suffered a prejudice of US$20 million and only four vehicles have
been recovered. Herald




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