THREE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zinara) bosses, Frank Chitukutuku, Thomas Mutizhe, Givemore Kufa and Mighty Warriors’ chairperson Miriam Sibanda yesterday appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court facing fraud allegations involving $3,199 million in a botched road tender scam.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Chitukutuku (44), who is former Zinara chief executive officer, former Zinara finance director Mutizhe (39), current Zinara engineer Kufa (34) and company called Notify Enterprises, which was represented by Sibanda (47), were not asked to plead when they appeared before magistrate Josephine Sande, who remanded the quartet to September 28 on $1 000 bail each.
The complainant in the matter, Zinara, is represented by its chief executive officer Nancy Chamisa.
It is the State’s case that sometime in August 2010, the four accused acting in connivance hatched a plan to defraud Zinara of millions of dollars using Sibanda’s company as a conduit.
The State alleges, in pursuant to their plan, chief executives of Bubi and Umguza rural district councils Partson Mlilo and Collen Moyo, who are still at large, fraudulently awarded a tender to Sibanda to rehabilitate the 31km Ilitshe Road that links Umguza and Bubi rural district in Matabeleland North Province.
Sibanda was also to construct a six-span bridge across Umguza River along the same road to the tune of $3,5 million.
It is alleged the accused created a tripartite relationship for the successful implementation of their hatched plan where Zinara, as represented by Chitukutuku, was funding for the purported projects and the funds remained in Zinara’s bank accounts.
The State alleges Umguza and Bubi councils were the purported beneficiaries of the projects since the road and the bridge were in their areas of jurisdiction.
However, it is alleged no work was done, but Mlilo and Moyo fictitiously raised certificates of works done to facilitate the payment of claims raised by Sibanda. The certified claims were then forwarded to the Zinara head office where Kufa allegedly certified and confirmed that the job was done.
Chitukutuku allegedly then authorised Mutizhe to transfer the claimed monies to Sibanda’s bank account.
The alleged offence came to light in May 2012 after the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission received a tip-off and commenced investigations leading to the quartet’s arrest on Wednesday.
Sebastian Mutizirwa appeared for the State.