Former Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission chief executive Ngonidzashe Gumbo, who was jailed for two years last year for defrauding the commission of $435 000, has lost his bid to retain two vehicles that he used during his employment. The commission last year took away a Mercedes Benz ML350 and an Isuzu KB300 from Gumbo, but the former ZACC boss contested the decision through an application for spoliation.In a judgment handed down this week at the High Court, Justice Hlekani Mwayera, threw out the challenge saying she was convinced that Gumbo consented to the repossession of the official vehicles by ZACC.
“The respondent (ZACC) repossessed the vehicles with the consent of applicant as evidenced by the indemnity form. “Other than being in peaceful and undisturbed possession of the property, the applicant has not on paper proved he was unlawfully and wrongfully deprived of such possession.
“The dispossession appears to have been by negotiation and consent from reading the papers . . .
“Application be and is hereby dismissed with costs,” ruled Justice Mwayera. The judge said Gumbo had an option of pursuing the matter through some pending labour cases in which he is challenging the removal from office.
“The applicant also has other remedies as it was argued on his behalf that there are pending labour and or contractual disputes as regards whether or not he is still the CEO of the respondent,” the court ruled.
Gumbo was arrested on March 18, 2013 for defrauding the commission. In July 2014, ZACC, with the assistance of the police, repossessed the Mercedes Benz and Isuzu vehicles from Gumbo. After the removal of the vehicles, Gumbo then approached the High Court with an application for spoliation, arguing that the actions of ZACC were illegal and constituted despoliation.
On the fraud case, Gumbo was convicted and jailed for 10 years. Eight years of the sentence were conditionally set aside leaving him to serve two years effective.
Gumbo bought offices to be used by the commission in Mt Pleasant, Harare, using Government funds, but registered the property in the name of a company he jointly owned with four of his subordinates.
The State proved that in 2010, ZACC approached the Home Affairs Ministry seeking alternative accommodation when their landlords were about to evict them.
The ministry instructed Gumbo to look for alternative property and he identified 872 Betterment Close in Mt Pleasant that belonged to Diane Spalletah.
Gumbo went back to the ministry where he requested for $1 680 000 to buy the property and Government deposited $1,7 million into a ZACC account.
He instructed his subordinates Sukai Tongogara, Edwin Mubataripi, Christopher Chisango and Gibson Mangwiro to form a shelf company called Property Mortgage where they became directors with equal shares.
A ZACC administration and human resources manager deposited the $1 680 000 into a CBZ account for Perpetual Properties trust account.
It is believed that Gumbo’s daughter was an administrator for Perpetual Properties and she was the one who did the transactions. The property was bought for $1,2 million, which was fully paid to the owner Spalletah by Perpetual Properties.
Perpetual Properties deducted their commission amounting to $44 500, leaving a balance of $435 500. The court heard that $160 000 was used to purchase a property owned by Poptechnologies where Gumbo and Popatlal Samir are directors.
A person called Da Silva was given $100 000, while Samir received $95 000.
Gumbo is said to have allocated $80 000 for “renovations.”