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Zanu PF businessmen Mike Chimombe, Mpofu locked up over botched Presidential Goat Scheme

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By Mary Taruvinga


CONTROVERSIAL businessmen Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu have been sent to Remand Prison awaiting their bail determination.

The two appeared before Harare magistrate Marewanazvo Gofa who upheld the State’s application to postpone the matter to this Thursday to allow the State to lead evidence from investigating officers.

Chimombe (43) and Mpofu (49) are facing fraud charges after they allegedly fleeced the government in a shadowy contract to supply goats in the US$88 million Presidential Goat pass-on scheme.

The duo’s lawyers, Ashiel Mugiya and Tapson Dzvetero had submitted that issues of bail do not arise in this case because their clients were coming from home.

But the State represented by Anesu Chirenje said the two were coming from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and opposed bail.

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Allegations are that the duo forged a ZIMRA Tax Clearance certificate and a NSSA compliance certificate for Mpofu’s company Blackdeck Private Limited and attached them in a bidding document submitted to the Ministry of Lands for a tender for the supply and delivery of goats under the Presidential Goat Pass-on Scheme.

The State submitted that the accused “misrepresented that the company was in full compliance with ZIMRA and NSSA requirements. Investigations indicated that the QR code and the reference on the NSSA compliance certificate were issued to a different company. It was further established that Blackdeck Private Limited was deregistered from the NSSA system in January 2016. Further investigations established that Blackdeck Private Limited was not issued with a ZIMRA tax clearance certificate for the year 2021 and that the QR code on the forged tax clearance certificate belonged to a different company.

“Acting on the misrepresentation, the Ministry of Lands contracted Blackdeck Private Limited on the 3rd of November 2021. The Ministry transferred ZWL901 294 200 and ZWL698 705 800 on the 21st of April 2022 and the 29th of June 2022 respectively into their bank account. The total amount was ZWL1.6 billion and was equivalent to USD7 712 197. Following delays in delivery of the goats, the Ministry of Lands officials made several engagements with the accused persons.

“The accused persons misrepresented that they had mobilized 32 500 goats across the provinces which were ready to be distributed to the beneficiaries. However, a verification process revealed that the accused persons only had 3 713 goats in their holding sites. The Ministry cancelled the contract on the 29th of August 2022, following the discovery.

“The accused persons only supplied a total of 4 208 goats valued at USD331 445 and went on to convert USD7 380 751 to their personal use. Nothing was recovered.”