CMED chief arrested over $3m fuel fraud

CMED managing director, Davison Mhaka, was Tuesday dragged to the courts over his alleged involvement in a fuel scandal which prejudiced the State-owned company of $US3 million.

Petrol-pump250Investigations into Mhaka’s involvement in the botched deal took place when he was sent way from the company on forced leave recently.

He now faces money laundering charges as well as allegations of defeating and obstructing the course of justice.

On Tuesday, court heard that Mhaka acted fraudulently when he authorised a deal with company called First Oil in February 2013 after a tender was issued for the supply of five million litres of fuel.

Prosecutors say Mhaka authorised a tender award to First Oil at a time the company did not have a valid import licence and was also not listed on the State Procurement Board’s list of bulk fuel suppliers.

CMED subsequently transferred $US2,6 million to First Oil’s ZB Bank account. Court heard further $100,000 was also paid into the same account but no fuel was delivered to CMED in a scandal that has also sucked in the company’s fuel manager, Brian Manjengwa.

After the ZB Bank deposits, Alex Kudakwashe Mahuni and Maxwell William Katunga, who were signatories to First Oil’s account transferred $US2,360 000 to EBG Hong Kong Ltd’s in China.

However, ZB Bank indicated the confirmation letters from Petrotrade and the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe were inadequate to facilitate the release of the money.

The local financial institution said it wanted CMED to have title to the fuel before releasing the cash.

Court heard that Mhaka then wrote to ZB Bank instructing them to release the money. The cash was eventually transferred to China but no fuel was delivered to CMED.

The case was reported to the police, leading to the arrest of Mahuni, Katunga and Nyamadzavo who are still under investigations.

However, while the docket was still at prosecutor general’s office awaiting a response from China Mhaka allegedly concocted company registration numbers reflecting disposal of the money.

Prosecutors said he did this in a bid to defeat the course of justice and conceal illegal movement of funds, working in cahoots with accomplices already on remand as well as another IT expert based in South Africa, Daniel Chidenyu.

The IT expert then purported that the transactions existed and gave the documents to Mhaka. Court heard that the expert was paid R250,000.

Mhaka then handed the documents to the local National Prosecuting Authority with the intention to have his accomplices be exonerated over the alleged fraud.

Again, in November 2015, and upon noticing that his documents were inconclusive, Mhaka approached IT expert Chidenyu asking him to make an addendum on their document by including cooked up CCTV footage showing Killian Bangure and Fanuel Kapanje withdrawing the fraudulently acquired funds from the bank.

Court heard Chidenyu however, turned down the request, saying he had not been paid in full for their previous deals.

Police carried out investigations and discovered that the accounts and transactions never existed.

Court heard that Chidenyu then came to Zimbabwe and volunteered the information to the cops, leading to Mhaka’s arrest.

On Tuesday, Mhaka was released on $US500 bail by regional magistrate Vakai Chikwekwe with state’s consent.

He will be back in court on April 20. Idah Maromo appeared for the state.


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