SUSPENDED Air Zimbabwe company secretary and acting managing director Grace Pfumbidzayi was yesterday picked up by the police CID Serious Frauds Squad on six charges of fraud involving $7 million in relation to an alleged insurance scam at the airline.
This follows publication of an external forensic audit report implicating several senior AirZim officials.
The arrest comes hardly a day after Transport minister Obert Mpofu dissolved the entire Ozias Bvute-led AirZim board with immediate effect for failure to observe good corporate governance.
Pfumbidzayi, according to the report, was the architect of the scam since the national airline’s insurance issues fell under her office.
Police chief spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba confirmed Pfumbidzayi’s arrest last night.
“It’s true she has been arrested and is facing charges of contravening section 136 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act and a statement will be issued in due course,” Charamba said.
Pfumbidzayi is facing six counts of contravening section 136 of the Act [Chapter 9:23] (Fraud) where Air Zimbabwe allegedly suffered an actual prejudice of $1 298 827, 88 and €5 895 695, 90.
She is also facing allegations of contravening section 174 (1) (a) of the Act [Chapter 9:23] (Criminal abuse of duty as public officer).
If convicted, Pfumbidzayi faces a fine not exceeding level 14 or not exceeding twice the value of any property obtained by her as a result of the alleged crime, whichever is the greater; or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 35 years.
The AirZim board was accused of mishandling a forensic audit report into the airline’s affairs and failure to inform and advise Mpofu on developments at the corporation in line with good corporate governance.