The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Tendai Ru­papa Se­nior Court Re­porter

FOR­MER Zim­babwe Na­tional Road Ad­min­is­tra­tion (Zinara) chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Frank Chi­tuku­tuku ap­peared in court yes­ter­day charged with swin­dling $3 mil­lion from the paras­tatal.

He is be­ing charged in his per­sonal ca­pac­ity.

He ap­peared in court to­gether with Zinara en­gi­neer Give­more Tendai Kufa (34) and for­mer fi­nance di­rec­tor Thomas Mu­tizhe (39).

For­mer boss for women’s soc­cer Miriam Sibanda is also im­pli­cated. She is one of the di­rec­tors of No­tify En­ter­prises (Pvt) Ltd, which is in the busi­ness of civil works and con­struc­tion.

The com­pany was al­legedly fraud­u­lently awarded a ten­der to re­ha­bil­i­tate Il­lit­she Road in Mata­bele­land North Prov­ince. Zinara paid the firm for work not done. Chi­tuku­tuku, Kufa, Mu­tizhe and Sibanda ap­peared be­fore mag­is­trate Ms Josephine Sande charged with fraud.

The pros­e­cu­tion had pro­posed that they each pay $2 000 bail, but the court re­duced the amount to $1 000.

As part of their bail con­di­tions, the gang was or­dered to re­port once a week to the po­lice, sur­ren­der their pass­ports and not to in­ter­fere with wit­nesses.

They were rep­re­sented by Messrs Ad­mire Rubaya, Jonasi Dondo and Bless­ing Mud­hara.

The prose­cu­tor, Ms Linda Gadzikwa al­leges that some­time in Au­gust 2010, the four act­ing in con­nivance with Pat­son Mlilo, the chief ex­ec­u­tive for Bubi and Collen Moyo the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Umuguza ru­ral dis­trict coun­cils, hatched a plan to de­fraud Zinara. Mlilo and Moyo, who are still at large, fraud­u­lently awarded a ten­der to No­tify En­ter­prises (Pvt) Ltd to re­ha­bil­i­tate 31km of Il­lit­she road.

It is a gravel road link­ing Umguza and Bubi. As part of the ten­der, the com­pany was sup­posed to con­struct a six span bridge across Umguza River at a cost of $3,5 mil­lion.

No work was done by the shelf com­pany, but Mlilo and Moyo raised fake cer­tifi­cates of work done to fa­cil­i­tate pay­ment of claims raised by No­tify En­ter­prises (Pvt) Ltd.

The claims, the court heard, were for­warded to Zinara head of­fice and Kufa al­legedly con­firmed and cer­ti­fied that the job had been com­pleted.

The State fur­ther al­leged that Chi­tuku­tuku then au­tho­rised Mu­tizhe to trans­fer the money into No­tify En­ter­prises (Pvt) Ltd’s bank ac­count.

In May 2012, the Zim­babwe Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion got a tip-off and in­ves­ti­gated the mat­ter.

When the ac­cused per­sons got wind of the in­ves­ti­ga­tions, Mlilo and Moyo looked for man­power and equip­ment.

They tried to hur­riedly do the work in a bid to cover up, but it was too late.

It is the State’s con­tention that Zinara lost $3,5 mil­lion to the ac­cused per­sons.

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