Simba Makoni

Ex-minister Makoni puts state on notice

FORMER Finance minister and politician Simba Makoni, pictured, and his company Power Speed Electrical, arrested for allegedly flouting the official exchange rate and selling goods at inflated rates, are not happy with the state’s failure to put them on trial.

Makoni and Power Speed Electricals were arrested for allegedly using the rate of $175 local currency for a single United States dollar when the official rate was $88.

They were in court yesterday where they were remanded to January 18 and placed the State on notice  that if they are not given a trial date on the day they will return to court they will challenge further remand.

This follows the failure by the State to provide them with a trial date.

It is the State’s case that on October 6 last year, it came to light that some companies which are procuring foreign currency at the auction are selling their products above the prevailing official exchange rate of $88.5532 per US$1.00.

The Reserve Bank exchange control department deployed officers to confirm the allegations by approaching a number of retail outlets purchasing products.

Claims are that on October 7 John Marshal Chinembiri and Tanaka Lincoln Sanyamahwe from Reserve Bank financial intelligence unit department went to Electrosales Hardware at number 59 Stevens drive Msasa, Harare.

Chinembiri reportedly bought a bottle of benzene for $423.65 and Sanyamahwe also bought the same product for US$2.42 and they were issued with a point of sale receipts reflecting a rate of $175.00 per US dollar against the exchange rate of $88.55 per dollar published on October 5 2021.

This resulted in a police report and investigations established that Makoni and other directors fixed the selling price of the said goods resulting in their arrest.

According to the State, the Exchange Control Act prohibits selling, displaying and offering of goods or services for sale at an exchange rate above the ruling exchange rate in Zimbabwe.

Lancelot Mutsokoti appeared for the State.