By Alois Vinga
FOUR central bank bosses who were recently suspended on claims of illegally dealing in foreign currency by controversial former Zanu PF youth empowerment activist Acie Lumumba, have all been cleared of any wrongdoing.
This followed an investigation that was instituted to prove Lumumba’s sensational accusations during the latter’s short-lived employment as chairman of the Ministry of Finance communications taskforce.
In a statement late Thursday, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) said investigations into the claims concluded that the quartet was not guilty of the offence.
“Members of the public will recall that on 22 October 2018 the RBZ suspended, for an indefinite period, four of its staff members namely Messrs Mirirai Chiremba, Norman Mataruka, Gresham Muradzikwa and Azvinandawa Saburito to pave way for investigations following some public utterances by William Gerald Mutumanje (Lumumba) that the four directors were involved in corrupt activities and illicit currency dealings,” said the RBZ in a statement.
“At the time, the Bank advised that it would follow through and investigate the allegations and advise the public of the outcome.
“The Bank and the law enforcement agents carried out investigations which on conclusion have revealed that Messrs Chiremba, Mataruka, Muradzikwa and Saburi were not involved in the corrupt activities or an impropriety as alleged by Mr Mutumanje.
“The Bank would thus like to advise the public that the quartet has been accordingly absolved of any wrongdoing.”
In a Facebook Live video October this year, Lumumba had named RBZ directors Mataruka (Bank Supervision director), Saburi (Financial Markets), Chiremba (Financial Intelligence) and Muradzikwa (Head of Security) as being involved in a massive forex scandal.
The revelations triggered panic within the central bank with RBZ Governor John Mangudya forced to summarily suspend the executives pending an investigation into the alleged misdemeanors.
The absolving of the four follows a new pattern of acquittals on influential individuals who have been associated with some of the country’s serious forms of corruption.
Former energy minister, Samuel Undenge was early this week cleared of corruptly awarding a solar project tender to controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo.
Flamboyant socialite and businessman Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure was also recently acquitted of defrauding Zanu PF Chegutu West MP Dexter Nduna and a Kadoma gold dealer of R1 581 890 in a botched mining equipment supply deal.
Chivayo had earlier been acquitted of the same offence.