Samson Bernard Mashata Paweni was a former Zimbabwean businessman who was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 1984 for what was Zimbabwe's biggest corruption scandal at the time. Paweni's agent and brother-in-law Charles Haruperi received a 10-year sentence.

GMB Scandal

During Kumbirai Kangai's tenure as Labour Minister, Samson Paweni was involved in a scandal involving the importation of grain during the severe drought of 1982.[1] Kangai issued a public denial of any knowledge or involvement in the scandal after he was fingered in court by one of the convicted bureaucrats.

During the trial, a government prosecutor told the High Court that "certain persons," unnamed, had attempted to kidnap Samson Paweni from his jail cell in order to spirit him out of the country.[2]

Paweni allegedly bribed his way into winning a tender to transport drought relief food across Zimbabwe. An estimated US$6 million was lost to Paweni because of the underhand deal which involved top government officials who were not even prosecuted. Paweni was jailed for 15 years and had the term reduced to 10 years after an appeal.[3]


  1. PATRICE MAKOVA, Kumbirai Kangai dies, The Standard, Published: August 25, 2013, Retrieved: July 1, 2021
  2. Glenn Frankel, Letter From Zimbabwe, The Washington Post, Published: May 20, 1984, Retrieved: July 1, 2021
  3. [1], Zimbabwe’s litany of scandals, Published: October 20,2016 , Retrieved: 1 June 2018