Ex-Mines permsec in fresh fraud pickle

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By Mary Taruvinga

UNDER-FIRE former Mines Ministry permanent secretary Francis Gudyanga is mired in a fresh fraud storm which saw him appear in court Thursday facing allegations of swindling the ministry of over $1 million in fake payments.

The complainant in the case is Mineral Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) which is being represented in the court case by Ambrose Made, its board chair.

According to the state, during the period extending from September 2014 to December 2015, Gudyanga, acting in his capacity as mines secretary and in some cases as board chairperson, misrepresented that MMCZ paid $1 629 500 to Glammer Pvt Ltd, a foreign company through a local agricultural company Pedistock.

It is further alleged he misrepresented that monies be accounted for as dividends due to the stakeholder, in this case the government of Zimbabwe.

MMCZ, acting on the misrepresentation by the top civil servant, released the money when in fact, it was not being paid to the government as dividend but towards a private arrangement which had nothing to do with MMCZ.

It is state’s case that dividends are paid to the permanent secretary who in turn issues a receipt of acknowledgement.

The permanent secretary then pays the Ministry of Finance.

Through the misrepresentation, court was told, this caused MMCZ to release and suffer a prejudice of $1 629 55 while nothing was recovered.

He was Thursday released on $500 bail by Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa and was also ordered to report once every week to the police until his case was finalised.

The former government secretary will be back in court on September 4 for his routine remand.

Linda Gadzikwa prosecuted.

Gudyanga has two pending criminal abuse of office cases which arose during the period he was constituting a one man MMCZ board while pocketing allowances meant for 10 people.

He is also accused of favouring a businessman with a mining deal without following procedures.