EMBATTLED businessman Phillip Chiyangwa has repatriated the foreign currency he sent to Namibia two years ago purportedly to finance a joint venture project which failed to take off the ground.
The Zimbabwe Independent revealed in January that Chiyangwa was being investigated on charges of possible externalisation of foreign currency.
Chiyangwa’s lawyers, Byron Venturas, in a letter to the Independent this week, said the businessman-cum-politician had not committed any crime and that he had repatriated the foreign currency back to Zimbabwe.
“After the collapse of the joint venture due to the Namibia Northern Invest-ment Company failing to raise adequate funding, our client repatriated his investment in the Namibian operation back to Zimbabwe under the auspices of the Reserve Bank,” the letter said.
“For the avoidance of any doubt, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has concurred that there was no criminal activity perpetrated by our client, his business or any of their affiliates during this transaction,” the lawyers said.
RBZ governor Gideon Gono yesterday however said Chiyangwa had repatriated part of the foreign currency.
“I can confirm that he repatriated part of the amount,” said Gono. “Regarding the balance, that should be regularised by the end of the month,” he said.
On whether or not a crime had been committed Gono said he could not comment on that, as that was the role of the law enforcement agencies.
In January the Independent reported that Chiyangwa was being investigated for allegedly externalising US$200 000 between 2001 and last year.
The foreign currency was meant to finance a joint-venture project between his company, Crittal Hope, and Namibia Northern Investment Group.
Police subsequently opened a docket and began an investigation. Chiyangwa at the time was in remand prison on espionage charges.