AG out to get Tsvangirai for fraud

The Attorney-General's office, under pressure from Zanu (PF) politicians, will draw up charges against MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai over alleged fraud.

The house in Kew Drive for which the PM is accused of receiving double funding.
The house in Kew Drive for which the PM is accused of receiving double funding.

Senior police and government sources told The Zimbabwean that heavy political pressure was being exerted on the AG's office to proceed with the case.

The case involves $1,5 million in public funds released two years ago by the government to enable Tsvangirai to buy a mansion in the Harare suburb of Highlands. The Criminal Investigation Department has opened a fraud docket against Tsvangirai and his relative, Hebson Makuvise, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Germany. They are alleged to have received two payments from Treasury and the Reserve Bank in 2009 to purchase the house located at 49 Kew Drive. Renovation of the property is almost complete.

CID chief superintendent Alison Nyamupaguma was said to be under pressure to wrap up investigations. The high-profile case was reportedly being pushed by Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri, who is infuriated by Tsvangirai's insistence that Chihuri's term office, which expires in February 2012, must not be renewed.

According to the Global Political Agreement, Tsvangirai's consent will be required for the renewal of Chihuri's term of office.

Sources say there is no strong legal basis upon which the A-G’s office could draw up charges that would result in a successful prosecution. A source in the office said they were studying relevant pieces of legislation that could nail Tsvangirai.

"That the matter might be struck down is highly possible. It would have made a lot of sense for the matter to die a natural death within the office of the AG," the source said. Government sources say Tsvangirai might have been trapped in an elaborate scam, and blindly double dipped.

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