Simbarashe Zvineyi is a former accountant in the Ministry of Defence who allegedly stole US$20 million from the ministry, bought four houses in Harare, a fleet of 25 taxis and four cars between January 2010 and December 2019.
On 10 January 2020, Zvineyi appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts facing fraud and money laundering charges.
Allegations were that between January 2010 and December 31 2019, he and Danison Muvandi — who was a top accounting officer in the same ministry — hatched a plan to defraud the Ministry of Defence.
On several occasions, Muvandi, who escaped to South Africa, using his position and influence, would misrepresent that there were classified operations to be carried out and allegedly instructed the chief accountant, Lameck Jackson, to deposit funds into Zvineyi’s accounts in NMB Bank, CBZ, CABS and Steward Bank, using Zvineyi’s vendor number.
There were no such classified operations to be conducted
Acting on the misrepresentation, Jackson transferred into Zvineyi’s bank accounts money ranging from US$40 000 to US$66 000 during the decade. Zvineyi and Muvandi would then allegedly share the loot.
From investigations carried out so far, the Ministry of Defence has suffered prejudice of US$20 million and only four vehicles have been recovered.
On his second count, Zvineyi, during the same period and acting in connivance with Muvandi and after they allegedly defrauded the Ministry of Defence, reportedly laundered the proceeds of the offence by acquiring properties, which include more than 25 taxis, a Jeep Wrangler, an Isuzu KB300, a Honda Fit and a Toyota Vitz.
Simbarashe Zvineyi was denied bail by Harare magistrate Mr Francis Mapfumo, who strongly believed he was likely to abscond trial.
In denying Zvineyi bail, the court also considered that there was overwhelming evidence against him, which might induce him to flee the jurisdiction of the court.
- Nyore Madzianike, Defence accountant in $20m fraud storm, The Herald, Published: January 11, 2021, Retrieved: July 8, 2021
- Nyore Madzianike, Former defence ministry accountant denied bail in US$20m fraud case, The Herald, Published: January 17, 2021, Retrieved: July 8, 2021