Chimombe, Mpofu to spend another week in custody

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Chimombe, Mpofu to spend another week in custody 
Mike Chimombe (centre) flanked by other suspects, alights from a Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service truck at the Harare Magistrates Court.

Yeukai Karengezeka

Court Correspondent

HARARE businessmen Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu, who are facing fraud charges over US$7 million they allegedly siphoned from the Presidential Goat Scheme, will spend another week in remand prison pending their bail ruling on Tuesday next week.

Defence counsel Mr Arshiel Mugiya and Mr Tapson Dzvetero yesterday completed their cross examination of the leading investigating officer Mr Henry Chapwanya from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission. 

The State is expected to file its closing submissions tomorrow as it argues that bail should not be granted, and defence counsel will submit their arguments in favour of bail on Friday.

Presiding magistrate Mrs Marehwanazvo Gofa said she will deliver her ruling on July 16.

The State is alleging that Mpofu and Chimombe forged documents to win the tender to supply 600 000 goats under the Presidential Goat Scheme.

The two investigating officers, Mr Chapwanya and Mrs Gamuchirai Zimunhu, gave evidence in court on why the two should be denied bail.

They alleged that the two disrupted the Presidential Goat Scheme, a project initiated by President Mnangagwa as part of his vision to attain an upper middle income economy by 2030.

It was their contention that if released on bail there would be protests on the streets which will undermine peace and security in the nation as the country is expecting to host the SADC Summit in the next few weeks.

The two were also said to be a flight risk.

Mr Chapwanya submitted that there was a high likelihood that the two would interfere with witnesses since they had interacted with some of them during negotiations of the goat tender held with the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development.

Prosecutor Mr Anesu Chirenje tendered documentary evidence in the form of a memo that was circulated on social media by the two, stating that the money they were given by the Government for the project was around
US$4 million equivalent.

The prosecutor also tendered a NSSA clearance certificate, which is said to be fake, and a forged compliance certificate in the name of Blackdeck Pvt Ltd, as well as minutes recorded by the Ministry of Lands when they convened a meeting with Blackdeck Pvt Ltd and Mr Chapwanya’s affidavit.