Harare company in court over US$15m ZINARA swindle

Spread This News

By Paul Katanda 

A HARARE company as Friday dragged before the courts charged with trying to defraud the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA) of US$15 million through an interest scam.

Interest Research  Bereau Zimbabwe (IRBZ) director Director Mosses Jani (46) represented the company before magistrate Learnmore Mapiya.

The case was remanded to August 4, this year.

The firm reportedly specialises in the calculation of interest on both overdrawn and credit bank accounts.

Papers before the court indicate that back in March 2019, the Government through the Ministry of Finance agreed a contract with IRBZ for interest re-calculation and recovery of overcharged accounts.

ZINARA then received a letter from the Ministry of Finance on March 28, 2019 introducing the IRBZ global government contract to work with State entities.

The two companies then got into a contract on February 10 2020 focussing on an existing Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) loan and other ZINARA bank accounts.

IRBZ allegedly reached out to DBSA on September 10, 2021 requesting access to the loan information so that they could recalculate the loan interest.

The contract signed between ZINARA and IRBZ allegedly stipulates that a commission of 12.5% of overcharged interest effectively recovered by the bureau, shall be payable to IRBZ.

However, the claimed amounts should be credited and retained in ZINARA’s DBSA loan account.

Prosecutors allege that on February 14 this year, IRBZ submitted a tax invoice with a claim of US$594,032, being 12.5% of US$4 752 236 which they misrepresented as amount recovered from DBSA.

The following day IRBZ allegedly submitted another tax invoice with a claim of US$14 477 357 calculated as 12.5% of US$115 818 858 an amount they purported to have recovered from DBSA again.

ZINARA requested proof of the DBSA recovered interest after which IRBZ submitted a letter to ZINARA advising they were withdrawing the two invoices as they did not have supporting documents from DBSA.

Investigations carried out established that no amount was credited and retained into ZINARA’s DBSA loan account as per their contract.

According to court papers, IRBZ fraudulently raised two fictious invoices claiming 12.5% commission of amounts they deceitfully claimed to have recovered from DBSA “when in truth and in actual fact they had not recovered anything for ZINARA”.