Thursday, 8 February 2018

MZEMBI CHARGED WITH $1,6 MILLION FRAUD

Former Cabinet minister Walter Mzembi and consultants that he worked with during the 2013 United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly appeared in court yesterday on allegations of misappropriating over $1, 6 million meant for the event.

Mzembi, 54, Tourism and Hospitality ministry consultant Aaron Dzingira Mushoriwa, 62, and the ex-permanent secretary Margret Sangarwe, 59, were released on $300 bail when they appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzayi Mugwagwa. They were charged with theft of trust property.

According to State papers Mushoriwa was one of the consultants contracted by Tourism ministry to source funds on its behalf for United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly preparations and hosting.

On May 15, 2012 Tourism and Hospitality ministry entered a contract with professional conference organisers, Rosemary Mukogo, Mushoriwa and Susan Makombe Kahudzayi who is still at large.
The contract was for the consultants to source funding from the corporate world and assist in managing the UNWTO project and they took instructions from Mzembi.

The court heard that between May 2012 and August 2013 Mzembi wrote several letters on government letterheads to corporate world inviting sponsorship and Mushoriwa and Sangarwe would forward them to selected organisations.

After receiving funds from Mbada Diamonds, Mushoriwa connived with Kahudzayi and transferred $150 000 to Croco Motors for purchase of three Ford Ranger Double Cabs and registered them in the name of UNWTO Trust which was not existent.

The court heard that after UNWTO the accused persons connived and failed to surrender the cars to Tourism and Hospitality ministry but converted them to personal use.

The court heard that Mushoriwa and Kahudzayi also received a Tata Xenon Double Cab that was fully paid for by Mimosa Minning at $33 626.

According to State papers Mzembi then gave orders for the motor vehicles to be distributed and he got a Ford Ranger, Mushoriwa obtained a Tata Xenon Double Cab, while Sangarwe and Kahudzai each got Ford Rangers.

It was alleged that Kahudzayi sold hers to a third party who has not yet been established.
The State was prejudiced $184 000.

On the second count Mzembi and Mushoriwa are being charged for misappropriating $1 6 million during the same event with State alleging that $261 386 was recovered. Daily News

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