POLICE are investigating how $200 000 was illegally moved from a Zifa Steward Bank account at a time funds had been attached by the Sheriff of the High Court on behalf of the association’s creditors.
XOLISANI NCUBE/ DESMOND CHINGARANDE
The matter — which was reported on November 20 under case number IR111541 at Harare Central Police station by the Sheriff of the High Court — implicates the bank and Zifa officials led by its president Philip Chiyangwa of connivance to move the money, which had been garnished and was supposed to be moved into the sheriff’s account for onward transmission to creditors.
According to police documents seen by StandardSport, the account had been garnished by the sheriff in execution of a writ in favour of Daisy Lodges and other creditors owed by the local football association.
“The report was filed due to the failure or connivance by Steward Bank not to transfer funds attached in the suspense account into the sheriff CBZ account. a police report has been made under case number 111541 at Harare Central Police Station at 11;50 on November 20, 2018,” read a report by the sheriff of the High Court.
On Thursday, Zifa board member for finance Philemon Machana said he was unaware that funds were moved illegally from the Steward Bank account, saying if anything untoward had been done, the bank should be held accountable.
“We transact on daily basis and I do not know what you are talking about. If any of our transactions was done illegally, then it is the bank that is at fault, not us,” Machana said.
This is not the first time that the Chiyangwa-led administration has been accused of engaging in questionable activities aimed at avoiding paying creditors even when instructed to do so by the courts.
Bank documents suggest that at some point, Zifa moved money from its Steward Bank account to Conduit Holdings — one of the companies owned by Machana — with indications that it was meant to “protect” the funds from creditors who have been raiding the association demanding their dues.
Machana last year admitted that he had received the association’s funds, but would not state how and why his private entity was being used although he went on to suggest that the amount could be $100 000.
As if that was not enough, Zifa assets, according to documents available, were also being moved from the association’s special purpose vehicle, Zifa Private Limited, to his close associates, including employees.
Last month, a High Court judge, Justice Priscilla Munangati-Manongwa, reserved her ruling in a case in which Zifa allegedly sold and transferred illegally a property that had been attached and sold by the sheriff of the High Court to Maxwell Ndudzo.
Court documents suggest that Zifa, through the private entity, Zifa Private Limited, sold and transferred a house in Kensington to a questionable entity, Olivetouch Investment, at a time the sheriff had lawfully attached the property and sold it to Ndudzo on behalf of the association’s creditors.
According to a deed of transfer prepared by Ngarava, Moyo and Chikono legal practitioners in April 2017, Jonga sold the house along McLoughlin Road in Kensington to Olivetouch Investment.
Documents in our possession suggest that Jonga, who is employed by Pinnacle Holdings as general manager — a company run by Chiyangwa — “sold” the house on behalf of Zifa Private Limited illegally as the association tried to escape attention from its creditors.
Lawyers representing Ndudzo, Fredrick Gijima, stated in court papers that the sale of the house to Olivetouch by Jonga was fraudulent as his client had already paid for the same property through the sheriff.
Ndudzo had offered to buy the house as the highest bidder through a public auction done by the sheriff of the High Court as was instructed by the court so that Zifa would settle the money owed to some of its creditors, among them Led Travel and Tours.
To avoid facing creditors, Chiyangwa forced the secretariat to abandon Zifa headquarters in 2015 after his election claiming that the premises were haunted due to persistent raids by creditors and moved them to his private offices, where last year he pocketed $72 000 in rentals while the association’s offices in town lay idle.
property used at the offices was hired from Hansporte Investment — a private entity whose directors are Jonga and one Beatrice Musavengana, all employed by Chiyangwa at his private business.