Friday, 26 June 2020

KEREKE CHICKEN PROJECT :PRISONS BOSS TO TESTIFY


Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services Commissioner General Paradzai Zimondi is on Monday next week expected to testify against three former top prison officers at Chikurubi Maximum Prison, who are facing charges of receiving $10 500 from a chicken project without telling their superiors.

Comm-Gen Zimondi is expected to testify against former Chikurubi Maximum Prison officer-in-charge Nobert Chomurenga and his then juniors, Cephas Chiparausha and Tonderai Mutiwaringa, who are being charged with fraud.

The trio, who are being represented by Oscar Gasva, denied the charges.

Harare magistrate Mr Amos Mbobo yesterday ordered the State to make sure that the witnesses, including Comm-Gen Zimondi, were available on the trial date since the matter had taken a long time to be finalised. 

The prosecutor, Mr Ephraim Zinyandu, made an undertaking to ensure that the witnesses will be available on the day.

Allegations are that on September 25, 2017, Chomurenga and Chiparausha, who were acting in connivance with Mutiwaringa, entered into a memorandum of understanding with Humanity Earth Trust, which has links with jailed rapist Munyaradzi Kereke, in their personal capacities. It is alleged that from September 25, 2017 to August 2018, Humanity Earth Trust provided a total of 3 000 birds, feed, medicines and other sanitary requirements for the chicken-rearing project.

Further allegations are that the trio, as part of the agreement, provided space and labour in the form of prisoners, but for their personal gain.

When the chickens were being sold, the customers paid money into Chiparausha’s EcoCash account and he received a total of $8 282. 

In their defence, Chomurenga, Chiparausha and Mutiwaringa told the court that all their actions were with Comm-Gen Zimondi’s blessings.

In December 2017, Mutiwaringa, who took over as officer-in-charge after the promotion and transfer of Chomurenga, received $2 252 from Chiparausha through his EcoCash account as proceeds of the project.

In their defence, Chomurenga, Chiparausha and Mutiwaringa told the court that all their actions were with Comm-Gen Zimondi’s blessings.

“The Commissioner General was fully briefed and was aware of the poultry project between Chikurubi Maximum Prison and Humanity Earth Trust,” they said in their defence.

“He was personally aware of the project as he visited and inspected the project when he toured Chikurubi Maximum Prison on several occasions when accused 1 (Chomurenga) was officer-in-charge and officer commanding Harare Metropolitan Province.

“The poultry project was a brainchild of the Commissioner General and Humanity Earth Africa Trust and through Munyaradzi Kereke, as Kereke assisted Zimbabwe Prisons Service Commission with various projects.” Herald




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