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Anti-graft officers probed for corruption

POLICE are investigating three officers of the Anti-Corruption Commission for allegedly protecting former ZBC finance director Oniyas Gumbo, who stands accused of fraudulently attempting to wrestle control of a Harare property company, Assetfin Pvt (Ltd).

Sources in the police told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that a docket to probe Charles Charuma, Antony Mahwamba and Isaac Takawira had been opened by the police after an Assetfin director, Paul Chidawanyika, accused the three anti-graft officials of abusing public office.
The sources said the police had since written to the commission asking Charuma, Mahwamba and Takawira to give their warned and cautioned statement. The trio, were at the time of going to press, yet to have recorded their warned and cautioned statements.
“The three officials are under probe,” a senior police officer said. “We are treating the matter seriously in view that they have not been cooperative.”
Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press last night.
The accusations by Assetfin came at a time when the term of office of current commissioners had ended, amid concerns that the commission had done little to curb vice. Senior officials at the commission are reportedly involved in shady deals and blocking investigations.
In a scathing letter dated August 26 to the outgoing commission chairperson Eric Harid, Chidawanyika alleged that the three officials were blocking the commission from probing Gumbo for alleged fraud and forgery when he tried to seize the property firm in 2007.
Chidawanyika and Antony Parehwa, current Assetfin directors, are embroiled in a bitter ownership wrangle over the company that has also seen top cops accused of fighting in Gumbo’s corner. Parehwa and Chidawanyika own 50% of Assetfin through their company Unitime Investments Pvt (Ltd), while the remainder is owned by Gumbo.
Gumbo allegedly forged a CR14 form and submitted it to the Registrar of Companies on June 27 2007 purporting that he owned 100% Assetfin. He is currently facing a criminal trial over the matter at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts.
Chidawanyika said the three officers were aware that his company had made a corruption report against Gumbo in March 2010 to the commission and that affidavits were proffered by witnesses.
“This case against Oniyas Gumbo has gone nowhere, but has been suppressed or interfered with,” wrote Chidawanyika. “The issue to be resolved by the Anti-Corruption  Commission and other law enforcement agents is CR14 form (copy attached), forged by Oniyas Gumbo and delivered to the Registrar of Companies… Criminals should not be allowed to abuse the office of the Registrar of Deeds and Companies because such office is the custodian of the property rights of the country.”
Chidawanyika said Charuma, Mahwamba and Takawira were aware that Gumbo had made misrepresentation and had committed fraud and forgery in a bid to assume 100% ownership of Assetfin.
“They (officers) have upheld this CR14 form in an attempt to present it as a genuine document, thereby, favouring Oniyas Gumbo,” he alleged in the letter. “They have also not taken into consideration affidavits by the witnesses, which confirm crimes committed by Oniyas Gumbo.  If these affidavits had been taken into consideration, Oniyas Gumbo’s crimes would have been exposed before the arrest of Willie Mushayi (deputy registrar of companies).”
Chidawanyika added: “It appears there is a clear criminal abuse of duty or obstruction of the course of justice and corruption by them as public officers.”
He also wrote to the police saying the Anti-Corruption Commission officers contravened the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23) because they failed to carry out their duties as public officers.



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