Sunday, 17 November 2019

WE ARE GOING AFTER DECEASED ESTATES : ZACC


THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) is ready to hunt the corrupt beyond the grave and wants to seize the estate of the late Twalumba Holdings director, Dr Nkululeko Sibanda.

ZACC not only wants to prosecute the corrupt, but wants to strip them of assets gained through corruption and is seeking to get back at least $300 million of assets by the end of next year.

Dr Sibanda, who was director of Twalumba Holdings, died after he was jointly charged with ex-Zinara chief executive Frank Chitukutuku for fraud involving US$4,7 million.

Twalumba Properties, which is implicated in the case, owns the bulk of land and buildings in the estate of Dr Sibanda. Chitukutuku’s properties, valued at US$20 million, have since been frozen by the High Court as part of ZACC’s investigation into the fraud.

The late entrepreneur died at 41, but he left behind 39 stands of between 3 600 and 8 116 square metres with two double storey buildings and six single storey houses.

ZACC reckons at least part of that real estate fortune might have been bought with proceeds of crime.

Dr Sibanda also owned commercial immovable properties and over 20 undeveloped six-hectare agro-residential plots registered in the names of Twalumba Properties and Attachards Enterprises.

Most of the properties are registered under Twalumba Properties, a company that is implicated in the fraud case that was investigated by ZACC.

In a letter to the Master of High Court on 6 November this year, ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo disclosed the commission’s interest in the estate of the late Dr Sibanda saying processes were underway to seek confiscation of the assets.

“Please be advised that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission is seized with criminal case which has been referred to the National Prosecuting Authority, wherein the late Nkululeko Sibanda was jointly accused with Frank Chitukutuku and two others for contravening Section 136 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act with actual prejudice of US$4,7 million.

“ZACC is now proceeding with the civil confiscation application through the NPA in accordance with Section 80 of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act to recover the US$4,7 million.

“Accordingly, be advised that ZACC is therefore noting its interest in the estate of the late Nkululeko Sibanda,” reads the letter.

The letter was also copied to the executor of the estate, Mr Caleb Mucheche, who has since pledged to cooperate.

“We reiterate and underscore that, in sync with serving the best interests of justice and the rule of law, we will render maximum cooperation with your organisation as you relentlessly pursue the due process of law in tandem with your constitutional legal mandate of combating the vice and crime of corruption in Zimbabwe.

“We will do our best to regularly keep your esteemed office posted of any future developments concerning any ensuing stages in the process of the administration of this estate,” reads the executor’s response.

Meanwhile, Chitukutuku recently had his assets frozen by the High Court after the NPA raised the red flag that the property may be tainted.

The decision was made following an ex-parte application by Prosecutor-General Mr Kumbirai Hodzi for an unexplained wealth and asset freezing order in terms of Section 37B as read with Section 37H of Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Amendment of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act and the Exchange Control Act) Regulations, 2018 (Statutory Instrument 246 of 2018).

Justice Ndewere ruled in favour of the State and barred any interested parties from dealing, in any way, with the property in question.

The order was issued after convincing arguments by the prosecution team led by chief law officer Mr Chris Mutangadura. Mr Mutangadura heads the Asset Forfeiture Unit at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Chitukutuku acquired 10 motor vehicles between September 2013 and April last year.

These vehicles include two Mazda T35 trucks, a Hino Dutro truck, Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota Prado, Nissan NP200, Range Rover, Hino Ranger and a Land Rover Discovery. Herald

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