Anti-Corruption Commission ‘corrupt’

THE Anti-Corruption Commission has been accused of corruptly protecting former ZBC finance director Oniyas Gumbo, who allegedly attempted to fraudulently wrestle control of a Harare real estate company, Assetfin Pvt (Ltd).

The accusations come at a time when the term of office of current commissioners has ended, amid concerns that the commission had done little to investigate vice in the country and bring culprits to book, especially bigwigs in both the private and public sectors.
The commissioners’ term ended last September and are reportedly demanding golden handshakes for doing little in the form of houses and luxury cars, cash and generators.
In a damning letter of complaint to the outgoing chairperson of the commission, Eric Harid, dated August 26, Assetfin director Paul Chidawanyika claimed that three officers were blocking the commission from probing Gumbo for alleged fraud and forgery when he tried to seize the property firm in 2007.
Chidawanyika and Antony Parehwa, current Assetfin directors, are embroiled in a bitter ownership wrangle of the company that has also seen top cops accused of fighting in Gumbo’s corner. Parehwa and Chidawanyika own 50% of Assetfin through their company Unitime Investments Pvt (Ltd), while the remainder is owned by Gumbo.
Gumbo allegedly forged a CR14 form and submitted it to the Registrar of Companies on June 27 2007 purporting that he owned 100% Assetfin. He is currently facing a criminal trial over the matter at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts.
In his letter to Harid, Chidawanyika accused Charles Charuma, Antony Mahwamba and Isaac Takawira — officers in the Anti-Corruption Commission — of corruption.
The letter was copied to co-Home Affairs ministers Kembo Mohadi and Theresa Makone, and Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, among others.
Besides writing the letter to Harid, Chidawanyika also filed a complaint with the Harare Central Police State, case IR081978, against Charuma, Mahwamba and Takawira.
He said the three officers were aware that his company had made a corruption report against Gumbo in March 2010 to the commission and that affidavits were proffered by witnesses.
“This case against Oniyas Gumbo has gone nowhere, but has been suppressed or interfered with,” wrote Chidawanyika. “The issue to be resolved by the Anti-Corruption  Commission and other law enforcement agents is CR14 form (copy attached), forged by Oniyas Gumbo and delivered to the Registrar of Companies… Criminals should not be allowed to abuse the office of the Registrar of Deeds and Companies because such office is the custodian of the property rights of the country.”   
Chidawanyika said Charuma, Mahwamba and Takawira were aware that Gumbo had made misrepresentation and had committed fraud and forgery in a bid to assume 100% ownership of Assetfin.
“They (officers) have upheld this CR14 form in an attempt to present it as a genuine document, thereby, favouring Oniyas Gumbo,” he alleged in the letter. “They have also not taken into consideration affidavits by the witnesses, which confirm crimes committed by Oniyas Gumbo.
If these affidavits had been taken into consideration, Oniyas Gumbo’s crimes would have been exposed before the arrest of Willie Mushayi (deputy registrar of companies).”
Chidawanyika added: “It appears there is a clear criminal abuse of duty or obstruction of the course of justice and corruption by them as public officers.”
He also wrote to the police saying the Anti-Corruption Commission officers contravened the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23) because they failed to carry out their duties as public officers.
Chidawanyika said Parehwa reported the alleged corruption case against Gumbo — case RR22/04/10  — and Charuma, Mahwamba, and Takawira were fully aware of it and failed to act. Instead, he claimed, the anti-corruption officers levelled counter accusations as a way of victimising him and Parehwa.
As part of counter accusations in favour of Gumbo, Charuma arrested Mushayi on July 1 before he gave evidence exposing Gumbo’s fraudulent activities.
Charuma, Chidawanyika said, deliberately ignored statements issued by witnesses namely Parehwa, John Mwarumba, Misheck Mutara and Emilda Mapanzure who disposed off affidavits.
“The suppression of the above affidavits was meant to promote the counter case by Gumbo while suppressing the case reported by Parehwa,” Chidawanyika wrote.
Criminal Investigation Department spokesperson, Inspector Augustine Zimbili declined to comment on the latest fight between the Assetfin shareholders.
Gumbo’s criminal trial continues on Tuesday.

 

Brian Chitemba

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