On February 20, 2020, the court heard that Raphael Katsande, former ZETDC managing director, issued a contract to BT Engineering and Projects Company for the supply and delivery of cable fault location test kits worth US$1 824 846.51 and the contract was finalised on February 28.

Pharmacy off the hook

THE State has withdrawn charges against a local pharmacy, BestZone Pharmacy, which was accused of selling medicines at an inflated exchange rate against the rate gazetted by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe at the foreign currency auction system.

 It was alleged that they were using the rate of $180 for a single United States dollar against the gazetted rate of $88.552 for a single United States dollar.

Isaac Chipako, the pharmacy’s director, walked out of court a free man on Friday when he appeared before regional magistrate Stanford Mambanje where the State withdrew the charges before plea.

It was alleged tha on October 7 2021, Richard Mubala and Humphrey Takaza from Reserve Bank Financial Intelligence Unit department went to Bestzone Pharmacy at the corner of First Street and Nelson Mandela Avenue in Harare and bought Benylin Dry Cough.

The cough syrup was allegedly being sold for US$7 and $1 260 in local currency, which was an inflated exchange rate and the State says they were given a receipt after the purchase.

This was, however, contradicted by Takaza during the initial hearing in cross examination in bail application by the pharmacy’s lawyer Admire Rubaya.

 He said they failed to buy as the till operator had no change and also that the medicine was being sold for US$6 or alternatively $1 080. He said they did not have any receipt to buttress the claim other than his word.

This comes after the State also withdrew charges against other traders facing similar allegations. 

Consolidated Farming Investments (CFI) directors Tanaka Hofisi and Chester Noel Mutevhe, who trade as Farm and City, were freed by regional magistrate Taurai Manuwere after the State indicated that they needed time to “consider the wording of their charge” and that they would proceed by way of summons.

The two were also arrested in October last year accused of trading using the inflated rate of $184 local currency for a single United States dollar, while the official rate was $88.552 for a single dollar.

Also freed was politicians and businessman Simba Makoni and his company Power Speed Electricals who were accused of using the rate of $175 local currency for a single United States dollar against the government prescribed $88.

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