HomePoliticsTreger probe steers clear of party chefs

Treger probe steers clear of party chefs

Vincent Kahiya

SENIOR Zanu PF politicians sit on the Treger Holdings board which was responsible for authorising foreign currency transactions for which the company’s subsidiary, Treger Industries, is now be

ing prosecuted.

The Zimbabwe Independent has also learnt that Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies minister Didymus Mutasa is a former director of Treger Holdings.

Records at the companies registry show that Zanu PF secretary for administration Emmerson Mnangagwa and secretary for finance David Karimanzira sit on the Treger Holdings board by virtue of Zanu PF’s shareholding in the company. Karimanzira, who heads the committee currently investigating ruling-party companies, replaced Mutasa on the Treger’s board.

Police two weeks ago arrested 13 board members of Treger Industries on allegations of externalising $39 billion in foreign currency. They recorded warned and cautioned statements before they were released.

The politicians’ role in Treger Holdings could however escape public scrutiny as police have now decided to prosecute Treger Industries, the corporate entity, and not its directors.

Contacted about his role yesterday, Karimanzira would only say: “I’ve no comment on that.”

Mutasa confirmed that he “used to attend board meetings at Treger Holdings”.

The change in the target of prosecution followed submissions by Treger’s lawyer, Jonathan Samkange, who argued that the directors of Treger Industries executed decisions by the holding company whose directors should be charged instead. That could have entailed charging senior Zanu PF officials as well.

On Monday Samkange began negotiations with police officers investigating the case over who should be charged with externalising foreign currency.

Samkange argued that the police could not charge directors of a subsidiary company but only those of the holding company who made policy decisions. He said, alternatively, the police could charge the subsidiary company and not its directors. The second option prevailed.

Samkange yesterday confirmed that police would charge the company and not the 13 directors.

“Yes, they will now charge the company and not the 13 they originally arrested,” said Samkange. “If they wanted to charge directors, they should have gone for the directors of the holding company because they are the ones who make decisions.”

Observers believe the change of approach will protect senior Zanu PF officials from investigation. Quizzing Karimanzira would have been embarrassing as he is the chairman of the committee set up to investigate the goings-on in companies owned by Zanu PF.

Regarding Zanu PF’s collective responsibility in the Treger Holdings case, Mutasa said it was up to the police to effect arrests if they felt that a crime had been committed.

“The decision to arrest rests with the police,” said Mutasa yesterday. “It is up to the police to decide who to arrest.”

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