Nyore Madzianike Senior Court Reporter
A former accountant in the Ministry of Defence allegedly stole US$20 million from the ministry, bought four houses in Harare, a fleet of 25 taxis and four cars between January 2010 and December last year, a court yesterday heard. Simbarashe Zvineyi (36) also allegedly channelled part of the money to the foreign currency parallel market.
He was alleged to have been in possession of a pistol, whose origins police said they were still investigating. Zvineyi yesterday appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts facing fraud and money laundering charges.
He was not asked to plead to the charges when he appeared before magistrate Mr Francis Mapfumo, who remanded him in custody to Monday for his bail application.
Allegations against Zvinaye are that between January 2010 and December 31, last year, he and Danison Muvandi — who was a top accounting officer in the same ministry — hatched a plan to defraud the Ministry of Defence.
On several occasions, 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 the 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 to be conducted.
Acting on the misrepresentation, Jackson reportedly transferred into Zvineyi’s bank accounts money 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.
On his second count, Zvineyi, during the same period and acting in connivance with Muvandi and after they allegedly defrauded the Ministry of Defence, reportedly laundered the proceeds of the offence by acquiring properties, which include more than 25 taxis, a Jeep Wrangler, an Isuzu KB300, a Honda Fit and a Toyota Vitz.
He also allededly bought houses in Tynwald, Aspindale, Avonlea and Borrowdale.
Muvandi also allegedly acquired various properties some of which have been recovered. Mr George Manokore and Ms Patience Ngombengombe represented the State.