Peter Muchakazi was the Director of Procurement, Research and Administration in the Ministry of Defence and War Veterans Affairs. He was arrested on allegations of Corruption where he appeared before a Harare magistrate. He died on 27 July 2020, a day before his court appearance.
Muchakazi was suspected to be the ringleader of a well-orchestrated con whereby fake invoices were raised for services allegedly rendered to the ministry. The fraud wrap faced by Muchakazi, his co-accused Jonathan Tandangu, Dhuvai Muzenda and Maria Fungisai Chiurira in December 2019 drew the attention of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) as some army commanders were also investigated for being part of the rot.
On 12 January 2020 it was reported that the matter involving Muchakazi was the reason behind Danison Muvandi, the director of finance and human resources, fleeing the country. His whereabouts is unknown. Pater is the central figure in a fraud case involving more than US$20m siphoned from Zimbabwe’s ministry of defence.
State counsel, Miss Audrey Chogumaira alleged that from March to June 2019, the two connived with Danison Muvandi, who is on the run to defraud the Ministry of Defence by lying that Defence House had received cleaning services from Maids on Wheels (Private) Limited when no such services had been awarded or rendered. Muchakazi allegedly sourced five fake invoices with a total value of $306 135 and originated loose minutes dated June 19, 2019 addressed to the director of finance and human resources, Muvandi, who is the owner and signatory to the Maid on Wheels account.
Muchakazi then allegedly attached the five invoices to the minutes with instructions for payment of $306 135 for the cleaning services without attaching the required award-of-tender letter specifying the job done and signed by the chairman of the procurement management unit.
Peter Muchakazi and Kunofiwa Mervyn Madondo appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts charged with fraud and alternatively criminal abuse of office. They were not asked to plead to the charges when they appeared before magistrate Mr Francis Mapfumo who remanded them to January 23. Muchakazi and Madondo were ordered, as part of their bail conditions, not to visit Defence House unless they are accompanied by the investigating officer with Muchakazi paying $5 000 bail and Madondo $3 000 bail.
Peter died on 27 July 2020 a few hours after complaining of chest pains. The death was confirmed by Ministry of Defence secretary Ambassador Mark Grey Marongwe.