HARARE – Godfrey Tanyanyiwa, the jailed former Chitungwiza town clerk, faces a fresh $200 000 fraud charge.
Tanyanyiwa, whose bail appeal was thrown out by High Court judge Chinembiri Bhunu last week on the basis that there were no prospects of success, is currently serving an effective two-and-a-half-years in prison.
He was convicted by Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya on three counts of fraud and corruption.
In the fresh charge, Tanyanyiwa is jointly charged with former Harare special interest councillor Charles Nyachowe.
The state alleges that between September and December 2010, Chitungwiza Municipality faced challenges of refuse collection, water and salaries payments and approached FBC Bank for a $2,5 million loan.
Tanyanyiwa allegedly requested that management be authorised to borrow $2,5 million which was approved by the ministry of Local Government.
It is further alleged that Tanyanyiwa approached management again and introduced a company called Vantage Community Bank (Vantage) owned by Nyachowe, indicating that the firm would offer community banking services to Chitungwiza residents after the injection of $200 000.
It is the state’s case that council could not inject the money because of financial constraints.
It is further alleged that Tanyanyiwa and Nyachowe later wrote a letter instructing FBC Bank to transfer $200 000 from Chitungwiza Municipality’s FBC bank account into Vantage’s FBC bank account.
The court heard Tanyanyiwa wrote that the transfer was for payment of smart cards which Vantage would provide, which would be sold to households for revenue collection.
Omega Mugumbate, Chitungwiza chamber secretary authorised the transfer.
It is further alleged that when Mugumbate questioned the transaction, she was advised by Nyachowe that Tanyanyiwa would answer to any questions that would arise in the process.
The state alleges that the $200 000 was used for personal gain by Tanyanyiwa and Nyachowe.
It is the state’s case that Tanyanyiwa and Nyachowe drafted a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Chitungwiza Municipality and Vantage after realising that their fraudulent actions had been detected.
On January 3 last year, Tanyanyiwa presented the MoU which was back dated to September 15, 2010, indicating that Vantage would raise capital for Chitungwiza Municipality at a $200 fee and directed Mugumbate and Jemina Gumbo, director of Housing, to sign.
The offence was unearthed during investigations of abuse of office, fraud and corruption at Chitungwiza Municipality by Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission investigators, leading to the pair’s arrest.
Tanyanyiwa and Nyachowe were remanded to December 12 for trial before Harare regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa.