THE Zimbabwe Republic Police’s Criminal Investigations Department is investigating Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s role in the mismanagement and looting of Zanu PF’s business empire, leading to its collapse, in what is seen as part of President Robert Mugabe’s succession war.
By Owen Gagare
The Zimbabwe Independent is reliably informed that the police are investigating 39 cases of fraud, meaning the vice-president could face up to 39 counts.
Police sources said this week the investigations stem from a Zanu PF’s Report of the Committee on Party Investments, debated by the politburo on July 27 2005 and August 3 2005, which revealed the companies, supervised by Mnangagwa who was then secretary for administration, were a shambles due to gross mismanagement and corruption.
Zanu PF had interests in public and private companies held through M&S Syndicate (Pvt) Ltd. The ruling party had invested in Treger Holdings, Mike Appel, Catercraft, Fibrolite, which closed in December 2004 as well as Zidlee, which failed to take over Delta in 1989.
The party also had interests in Southern African Re-Insurance Company (Sare), Zidco Holdings and First Bank, whose Democratic Republic of Congo investment also collapsed.
Zanu PF also had interests in National Blankets, Woolworths and Ottawa Building, which were disposed of under unclear circumstances.
Furthermore, Zanu PF separately owned Jongwe Printing & Publishing Company, as well as Jongwe and Nyadzonya farms.
Mnangagwa, who sat on nearly all the companies’ boards, supervised M&S Syndicate with Manharlal Chiunilal and Jayant Chiunilal Joshi.
The Zanu PF probe team comprised the late David Karimanzira, who chaired the committee, and the late retired army commander General Solomon Mujuru, Obert Mpofu, Simba Makoni and Thokozile Mathuthu.
The report said the companies were a mess and riddled with managerial corruption and incompetence which could have prejudiced the ruling party of billions of dollars and assets.
It said some of the companies had virtually collapsed, while others had not been audited for years and their financial accounts were a complete mess.
During mid-2005, the official exchange rate was US$1:Z$38, although on the black market it was US$1:Z$10 000.
On the first count, Sare allegedly paid a dividend of Z$13 900 on June 17, 2002 which was however diverted to Mnangagwa First Banking Corporation account.
On December 10 2001, Z$20 million was allegedly withdrawn from AM Tregger and deposited into Mnangagwa’s Zimbank account. Mnangagwa also allegedly benefited from Z$33 million which was withdrawn from AM Tregger and deposited into his Jewel bank account on March 17, 2003.
Police are also investigating allegations that Z$10 million was withdrawn from AM Tregger and reinvested into Mnangagwa’s Mafidi Corporation at NDH on March 27 2003.
On October 9 2003 Z$2,3 million was withdrawn from AM Tregger and deposited into Mnangagwa’s CBZ account, while on October 13 2003 Z$3,3 million was withdrawn from Kushinga Investments and deposited to Mnangagwa’s First Banking Corporation account, the report alleged.
There are investigations into allegations that Z$5 million was withdrawn from AM Tregger and deposited into Mnangagwa’s CBZ account on October 13 while on October 16 Z$1,7 million was withdrawn from AM Tregger and also allegedly deposited into his CBZ account.
Also in October 2003, Z$5,3 million was withdrawn from AM Tregger as cash and given to Mnangagwa. The vice-president also allegedly donated Z$1 million to Mnene Mission Hospital which was taken from AM Treger.
The vice-president also allegedly benefitted from Z$2 million which was withdrawn from AM Tregger on October 24 2003 and paid into his First Banking Corporation account and on the same day Z$19 million was withdrawn from the same account and used to pay for kitchen refurbishment at Mnangagwa’s house.
On October 31 2003, Z$53 000 000 was taken from AM Treger account and paid to Clonsilla Service Station in Gweru for the prurchase of petrol by Aleta Mambodza, Mnangagwa’s family friend.
Police are further investigating allegations that Z$5 million was withdrawn from AM Treger and deposited in the vice-president’s CBZ account on November 3, while on December 10 Z$10 million was paid into his CBZ account.
The vice-president also allegedly benefitted from Z$1,5 million, which was withdrawn from AM Treger and deposited into his First Bank Corporation account.
The Zanu PF probe team report had established that a Z$650 million Tregers Holdings cheque for dividend declared on February 18 2003 for the year-ended December 31 2002 could not be accounted for.
The report said it was “inconceivable” that Tregers, in which Zanu PF had 41,96% shareholding, managed to declare a Z$1,2 billion dividend in four years when its annual turnover was about Z$150 billion.
There were queries over the murky investment of Z$120 million in the portfolio investment company M&S Investments by Zanu PF’s wholly owned investment arm, M&S Syndicate.
The report said another company, NamZim, was “closed due to mismanagement and the property was looted by unknown people”.
Some companies’ books, for instance those of Catercraft, were not audited for four years while there were no board meetings for two years.
Mnangagwa, who was interviewed twice by the probe committee because he held sway over the party’s network of companies, confirmed the chaos in the businesses by admitting most of the companies had no records.
“He (Mnangagwa) said that in most of these arrangements there were no written agreements on the formation of the companies and most of these agreements were done verbally between parties,” the report said. “Neither was there an agreement for payment of management fees to the Joshi brothers as these companies were operating as one.”
The Joshi brothers and Dipak Pandya fled the country shortly after the probe began. Several Zanu PF officials were quizzed about their escape. Former Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa said the three ran way from being arrested and were in regular contact with him. He said Jayant was believed to be in Dubai, while Manharlal was in Manchester, England.
Some of the Zanu PF investments such as in Bindura Nickel Mine were also unclear. The report stated that Zanu PF had a 23% equity in Bindura through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. Further inquiries into this investment were recommended.
There were also fears that companies like Tregers could have externalised funds.
As a result, the report recommended that “police/law enforcements agents should go into further investigations in order to establish any prejudice in terms of revenue to the party on its investments”.
More investigations were required into the shady M&S Z$120 million investment, Fibrolite and Catercraft operations, the unaccounted for Z$650 million Tregers dividend and other dividends declared without audited accounts, as well as Mike Appel’s dividend declarations.
The report said it was surprising that Mike Appel declared a Z$31 million dividend in 2003, but Z$250 million in 2005. Sare and shelf companies like M&S Investments, Segmented Investments through which Zanu PF had a 27% interest in First Bank, and Smoothnest Investments, Hutsonville and Amelia Properties, the report said, should also be further investigated.