Mawere blows whistle on whistle-blower
Mawere this week revealed how John Rushton, who is reportedly in line for a $30 billion windfall from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) for blowing the whistle on several prominent businesspeople over suspected corrupt practices, wrote to him in April, looking for a job.
It has been established that at the time of the correspondence, Rushton had already started giving the police, RBZ officials, state security agents and the Anti-corruption Ministry information on a host of alleged corrupt activities by several businesses.
In the letter, seen by Zimbabwe's financial weekly - the Financial Gazette, Rushton, who has extensive experience in the transport and logistics industry, canvassed for employment "in RSA or Zimbabwe".
"As per our telephone conversation this date in Zimbabwe - I am writing to you for consideration for employment in RSA. I have been working in Benoni for almost a year for Cecil Muderede - but he was unable to pay for the transport company and offices that he agreed to purchase - Nemini Carriers - I have found it difficult to settle back in Zimbabwe and I have (a) British Passport.
"I was offered a position by the RBZ but was never paid by them, I would like to return to RSA if you had (sic) need for a manager of 24 years in cross border transport, I have an impeccable record and much experience in investigations too," Rushton wrote.
He also wrote another letter to Mawere in May.
Rushton, 59, is believed to have blown the whistle on Mawere, based on his time as general manager at Petter Holdings, a company that held a transport contract with Shabanie and Mashava Mines, run by Mawere's SMM Holdings.
Mawere accused Rushton of desperation, saying the whistleblower had turned to him after his association with the authorities did not yield the desired result.
"I met the gentleman at the airport and he told me he was working for the Reserve Bank to carry out some investigations, and I believe he did work with them between January and February, during which time, I think, they discovered that his information was confusing.
"How does a transport guy know the intricate details of mining operations? The fact that he was now looking for work from a company that he was accusing of illegal conduct shows what kind of a person the authorities were relying on. Can you imagine that he could meet the President?" Mawere said.
As part of the ongoing efforts to combat graft and economic crimes, the government, through the RBZ and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, has come up with funds for informers who blow the whistle on offenders.
The whistleblowers are entitled to 10 percent of the total amount recovered following successful prosecution of the alleged guilty parties.
Mawere joined the growing band of businessmen whose assets have been frozen by the government after he was specified last week.
The move came after the government failed in its efforts to bring the businessman, who has been resident in South Africa since 1995, back to Zimbabwe to face charges of violating the country's exchange control regulations.
The government wants
Mawere, who has built a formidable multi-billion-dollar empire straddling
virtually every economic sector, to face trial for alleged fraud cases
involving up to $300 billion.
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