Businessman Levy Idana in court over US$1m Mbudzi interchange fraud

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By Staff Reporter

The director of Ledmart Investments (private) limited, Levy Idana (39) was Tuesday taken to court charged with fraud following his arrest on allegations of duping the government of close to US$1 million in a botched Mbudzi interchange deal.

Idana appeared before Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei who granted him US$500 bail.

He will be back in court on March 6 for his routine remand jointly charged with Enerst Shenje, the deputy director for roads in the Transport Ministry.

The complainant is the State represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport.

According to prosecutors, sometime in 2021, the Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Transport embarked on a project to construct a multi-level interchange at Mbudzi roundabout which is at the intersection of Simon Mazorodze, Chitungwiza and High Glen Roads.

The project affected 135 residential, industrial and commercial properties around the Mbudzi roundabout.

The government set a fund to compensate the affected property owners after a valuation process.

Sometime in 2022, the Ministry subjected properties that were going to be affected by the construction of the Mbudzi Interchange to a valuation process.

Part of Subdivision A of Subdivision B of Delft of Hopely held under the Title Deed of one Geoffrey Bannister was one of the properties that was affected and it also underwent a valuation process.

“The accused then connived with one Ernest Shenje, the deputy Director Planning and forged an agreement of sale using an old Title deed in the name of John Maloney, title No. DT6215/1981, predecessor in title to Geoffrey Bannister purporting that the accused had purchased the property and was now the one entitled to compensation which was initially put at US$580 000 but was subsequently fraudulently inflated to US$1 003 417,” said prosecutors.

Thereafter Shenje allegedly proceeded to fast-track the paperwork for payment of the compensation and on the 8th and the 28th of December, US$100 000 was transferred from the Treasury to Idana’s account to make a total of US$200 000 received.

Shenje went on to instruct Idana to make withdrawals to get his portion of the amounts received.

Idana withdrew the money and gave Shenje US$40 000.

An additional US$4000 was deposited into Alpha Asset Management Company account as per Shenje’s instructions.

As a result of the accused’s actions, the complainant suffered an actual prejudice of US$ 200 000 and a potential prejudice of US$803 417.

The accused person acted unlawfully.