Butau, who was chief executive officer of Dande Holdings, which hasÂ
significant interests in agriculture, faces charges connected to allegedÂ
violations of the Exchange Control Regulations.
Police sources revealed the former legislator had bargained for his freedomÂ
while he was still in the United Kingdom and was arrested by police whoÂ
already had the full knowledge he was on the Monday flight.
"He had written to the Attorney General’s office seeking to know the natureÂ
of his offence," said a source on condition of anonymity.
"He was then informed of his charges whilst he was still in the UnitedÂ
Kingdom. So he had to weigh the pros and cons of coming back to face theÂ
charges against his business interests in Zimbabwe."
Butau fled to the United Kingdom on December 27, 2007 after police hadÂ
issued a public statement he was wanted for questioning on the matter.
Although the police had, during the time, not specified the nature of hisÂ
crime, it later emerged after the former Zanu-PF official had fled theÂ
country that he was being sought over a payment of about 537 000 pounds forÂ
tractors, made from an offshore account in the Channel Islands.
The payments were allegedly made by two cheques on November 11, 2007 toÂ
The money was allegedly withdrawn from Butau’s personal account with HSBCÂ
Bank Channel Islands Branch.
While in the UK, Butau, who pleaded innocent, wrote to a governmentÂ
controlled weekly saying he had fled as he believed he would not get a fairÂ
treatment from what he saw as government’s vindictive stance.
He had however promised to return to Zimbabwe as soon as documents andÂ
details absolving him of any wrongdoing were forwarded to the relevantÂ
At the time, the first signs of Butau’s imminent arrest emerged when centralÂ
bank governor, Gideon Gono had publicly accused some Zanu-PF and governmentÂ
officials of creating artificial shortages of the local currency throughÂ
hoarding cash for speculative purposes.
Gono, who was announcing the introduction of a new set of higherÂ
denomination bearer cheques, said he was ready to appear before theÂ
parliamentary committee on budget and finance to name and shame corruptÂ
It later emerged Gono had been trying to pique Butau, who was in factÂ
chairing the parliamentary committee.
Pressured to respond, the Zanu-PF official, who is said to be linked to aÂ
Zanu-PF faction led by former army commander, General Solomon Mujuru, ranÂ
into Gono’s hands by saying his committee was not going to be hurried intoÂ
summoning the central bank chief.
Police later issued a press statement that Butau’s name was on the "WantedÂ
list" in connection with exchange control violations.
A Harare man linked to companies involving Butau later pleaded guilty toÂ
charges of illegally dealing in foreign currency involving more than Z$2, 1Â
According to court documents, Joseph Manjoro, a finance and administrationÂ
executive with Clarion Insurance, was contracted by Flatwater Investments toÂ
source foreign currency from individuals in the Diaspora to procure tractorsÂ
for the Reserve Bank for the government’s Agricultural MechanisationÂ
Manjoro allegedly transferred some of the money to companies linked toÂ
Butau. Â Squareaxe received Z$575 billion through its ZB Bank account whileÂ
Nyamasoka Farm received Z$262, 5 billion through CBZ Bank.
ThezimbabwetimesPost published in: News