The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is reportedly questioning Christ Embassy Church members in Harare and tracking down Engineer Tapiwa Beloved Parehwa, who is believed to be part of a syndicate which allegedly swindled Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) online students of $30 609, in a botched e-learning deal.
An impeccable source from the ACC, who declined to be identified, told NewsDay yesterday, the church had been sucked in after it emerged, Parehwa and his alleged accomplice, ZOU online chief executive officer, William Gonyora, donated a huge sum of money and a car as part of their monthly tithes to the church.
After getting wind we were tracking them down, they took the car, a VW Bora, and dumped it at number 1 Kwame Nkrumah Avenue in Harare where it has remained parked for the past two weeks.
We also interviewed Christ Embassy Church officials, after discovering one of the two men, deposited a huge sum of money in the churchs account, but the church seems to be reluctant to give us information. However, there are ways to deal with that kind of situation, said the source.
Gonyora has since been arrested and appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court last Tuesday while Parehwa is reportedly still at large. Gonyora was not asked to plead when he appeared before magistrate Anita Tshuma who remanded him out of custody on $500 bail.
As part of his bail conditions, he was ordered to report twice per week at Marlborough Police Station, surrender his passport and not to interfere with witnesses.
ACC investigator Servious Kufandada submitted an affidavit which is part of the court papers in which he told the court: The vehicle was parked at number 1 Kwame Nkrumah Avenue.
It is alleged Gonyora and Parehwa entered into an agreement with ZOU to form ZOU Online sometime in July 2009.
Following the formation of the company, the two men became the firmss signatories to its CBZ account held at Kwame Nkrumah branch in Harare.
It is alleged Gonyora who had been appointed the CEO of ZOU Online, had access to the company funds and was responsible for the day-to-day withdrawal of the funds and would use the money for the benefit of the students and the company.
Sometime in 2010, ZOU Online is said to have failed to meet its financial obligations, prompting an internal audit where Gonyora allegedly failed to account for $30 609.
It is alleged Gonyora never used the money to benefit and advance the interest of the online students, but instead converted the funds for personal use after authorising self-advanced loans which he never recorded.
Gonyora and Parehwas actions allegedly led to the collapse of ZOU Online. This led the institution to approach the ACC, resulting in Gonyoras arrest.