Crime and Courts

Former Commissioner Chihuri asked to explain US$10m transaction

Former Commissioner Chihuri asked to explain US$10m transaction. And the owners of the company, Rewstand Enterprises Private Limited, have been ordered to explain just what goods and services Rewstand delivered to the police that were worth US$10 401 500, detailing the contractual relationship with the police and supplying the delivery notes and payment vouchers. The two company owners also need to explain how they bought three properties between them.

Former Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, already under High Court orders to explain where he found the money to buy a swathe of properties, has now been ordered to explain why he transferred US$10.4 million of police money to a company owned by relatives of a former colleague.

Rewstands is co-owned by Abigail Makono (wife to an ex-police Senior Assistant Commissioner) and her sister Beulah Billie. High Court judge, Justice Felistas Chatukuta ruled that Chihuri must explain his role in the engagement of the company by the police between October 2012 and July 2014.

Makono and Billie must not only explain what they delivered to the police but Makono was ordered to give the source of the money she used to buy two immovable properties in Harare, and detail her interest in those properties, and Billie must disclose the source of funds used to purchase a Mufakose house and explain her interests in that property.

Justice Chatukuta barred the two from dealing with or disposing of the properties without permission. Chihuri’s daughter, Nicole, should, according to the court, explain her interests in a Mt Pleasant property measuring 4 000 square metres registered in her name. Chihuri is already under investigation for allegedly side-tracking at least US$32 million of public funds into family companies and buying a large swathe of properties.

In a previous High Court case, Prosecutor-General Mr Kumbirai Hodzi successfully applied for an order forcing Chihuri and his wife, Isobel Halima Khan, to explain how they acquired all these properties and to interdict them from having any dealings with the companies. Neither Chihuri, his wife, two of his children, two in-laws and the companies listed on the application contested the application, which was then granted

Joining Chihuri and his wife in that order are daughter Samantha Hamadziripi Chihuri, son Ethan Takudzwa Augustine Chihuri, relatives Aitken and Netsai Khan, and Croxile Investments, Adamah Enterprises, Mastermedia (Pvt) Ltd, Mastaw Investments and Rash Marketing. The companies allegedly won orders for the supply of goods and services without going to tender.

According to the uncontested order, Chihuri is required to explain his relationship with Nodpack Investments (Pvt) Ltd, Croxile Investments (Pvt) Ltd, Mastaw Investments (Pvt) Ltd, Rewstand Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd, Rash Marketing (Pvt) Ltd and Adamah Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd.

Chihuri and his wife are also required to explain their roles, if any, in the engagement of the companies by the police between July 2, 2014 and December 2017. The court also wants Chihuri’s wife to explain the nature of Nodpack Investments contractual relationship with the police which led to the police transferring US$5 766 251.31 from the force’s revolving fund to the company’s bank account held by Ecobank Borrowdale between July 28, 2012, to December 11, 2017.

The Chihuri family and relatives cited in the matter are further required to give details concerning Adamah Enterprises and Mastermedia and both companies’ contract with the police. The two companies received a combined US$12 992 870 between March 25, 2013, and January 1, 2018. Chihuri and his family and his listed relatives have also been ordered to explain their source of capital and engagement with the listed corporate entities while the Chihuri couple need to also disclose the financial rewards they received from that engagement.

Further, the couple and their co-respondents with an interest, or who once had an interest, in a fleet vehicles targeted for forfeiture should explain in detail the extent and scope of their interests with the top-of-the-range cars, some of them with personalised number plates.

The State is also seeking an explanation from Chihuri on how he acquired and funded the equipment which is installed at his farm in Mashonaland Central, acquired in 1990 for US$60 000 before it was transferred to his son Ethan through a donation valued at US$46 000.

The couple must also explain the source and origins of farm equipment at the family Shamva Farm known as Inyika Farm. Mastaw Investments is registered in South Africa and the Chihuri couple have to explain their interest in the company and disclose details of a First National Bank account, produce bank records, and give the source of funds.

The explanation is to be made in writing individually by each person named in the order to the Prosecutor General within 15 days, said Justice Chatukuta. Chihuri is under investigation for criminal abuse of office, money laundering, theft and fraud. He is being accused of establishing a “syndicated criminal mafia” meant to siphon public funds for his personal benefit and that of his cronies.

This, according to Mr Hodzi, would have entailed externalisation of money and laundering abroad. The Prosecutor-General argued in his application that Chihuri established the companies in connivance with his relatives for the alleged purposes of siphoning funds from the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s revolving fund.

Isobel Chihuri is the managing director for Mastaw Investments, which received US$3 823 285 from ZRP General Headquarters after giving an allegedly fake business address, said Mr Hodzi. Rewstand Enterprises received US$10 401 500 from ZRP despite using an allegedly fake address. Investigations by the police found a different company operating from that address.

Nodpack Investments (Pvt) Ltd of Bure Close in Strathaven, Harare, whose directorship includes Clever Nziramasanga and had Isobel Halim Chihuri as general manager, allegedly received US$5 766 252.31 from the police.

But this address was a residential property for a Mrs Marange who does not know Nodpack, raising strong suspicion that the address was fake, the court heard.

Croxile Investments (Pvt) Ltd of 8 St Aubins Walk in Chisipite received US$1 892 040 from the police, with Vanessa Madalisto Banda listed as director and Isobel Chihuri as general manager. But the property owner is a Mr Matongo who does not know about Croxile.

ZRP also released US$10 575 732 to Adamah Enterprises Pvt Ltd of 29 Carsberg Avenue in Alexandra Park in Harare, which is also managed by Isobel Chihuri with Nelia Mafunga listed as director.

But investigations found that this address belonged to another company called Brightcoast Construction owned by Clever Nziramasanga. Mastermedia (Pvt) Ltd, according to the State, is owned by Isobel Khan Chihuri and it received US$1 073 038.08 from the ZRP Revolving Fund from January 5, 2016 to February 9, 2017.

Rash Marketing, which is owned by a CBZ employee called Shingirai Maponga and his spouse, Sharon Maponga nee Tiyani, received US$764 370 from November 14, 2016 to December 12, 2016.

Chihuri also acquired 11 listed properties: Seven residential stands at Police Heights on Gletwin Farm in north-east Harare; 571 Zengeza Township; 9 hectares at Fishponds in Lomagundi District (Deed of Transfer 3177/90); Stand 231 in Athlone in Greendale (Deed 1214/85) measuring 4 639 square metres; and 431 Quinnington in Borrowdale (5284/14) measuring 5 500 square metres.

Four vehicles are also listed under assets that need explanation. Two combine harvesters, six tractors, two planters, three motorbikes and a boom spray were found at Chihuri’s farms at Shamva and Darwendale.

Source – The Herald

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