US$3m CMED looters face arrest

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Government has made a formal police report against people suspected to have pocketed US$3 million from CMED (Pvt) Ltd after they channelled the money to a private company for fuel that was never delivered, a Cabinet minister has said. Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Dr Obert Mpofu yesterday said the suspects were “characters and businesspeople who are well-known”, but he would not divulge their names.

In an interview with The Herald, Dr Mpofu said: “Yes, a police report has been made.”

Contacted for comment, police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba — who has on several occasions said she will not speak to this paper — said she was on another line.

Thereafter, another officer answered her phone and said they would get in touch if they had anything to share with The Herald.

They had not done so by the time of going to print.

Earlier in the day, after announcing a new CMED board, Dr Mpofu said the parastatal’s leadership should immediately pursue the case.

“There have been claims that these guys are untouchable, but we are going to touch them,” he said. “We do not want any bureaucratic approach to this matter because this will tarnish the image of the institution.

“Even my managers (at CMED) have been accused unnecessarily, but the actual people are there. We want that money and it should be repaid.

“The people who collected the money from CMED are known and they are around. The matter has been reported to the police.

“It is not money that was stolen from CMED, but it is money that was collected by characters and businesspeople who are well known. Their businesses and premises of operation are known.”

Dr Mpofu said the new CMED board should “bring these people to account and let them make good of what they have prejudiced the state.

“That is what we are going to do until they are brought to book,” he said.

Former Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation chair Mr Godwills Masimirembwa is the new CMED chairperson, deputised by former police Asst Comm Seymour Mpofu.

Other board members are Mr Chipiwa Philimon Pasipamire, Mrs Sihle Khabo, Mrs Tinotenda Nhwede, Mr Phinias Lugube, Engineer Tedious Chinyanga and Mrs Rita Lukukuma.

Dr Mpofu said there was much misinformation on the botched fuel deal in which CMED paid US$3 million for three million litres of diesel through an offshore account to First Oil last year.

The fuel, bought on the strength of two letters from State petroleum marketer and distributor Petrotrade, has not been delivered to date.

Questions have been raised as to why the money was paid via an offshore account and not through the supplier.

All in all, CMED lost US$7 million as it had to look for another US$3 million, including interest, to pay off a loan the parastatal had secured from ZB Bank to pay First Oil.

Dr Mpofu dismissed the need for a commission of inquiry into the case.

“If they do not pay that money back or supply whatever was supposed to be supplied in terms of that arrangement then the law has to take its course,” he said.

“Those were public funds and from my earlier experience as a civil servant no one is allowed to keep public funds for more than 24 hours. These people have kept the money for more than that.”

There are indications that First Oil was picked without going through the State Procurement Board, and that its import licence expired three months before its engagement.

Dr Mpofu told the board that CMED had great potential which should be explored fully.

“I am directing you to get involved in public transportation, in particular urban transportation, as part of Government’s thrust to curtail challenges facing urban passengers. As such, a results-based management performance tool should be implemented to enable us to track progress and performance. Do not pursue personal interests ahead of those of the organisation and ministry.”

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  • jabulo

    Give us the names!! why hide them if everything is transparent??

  • Tarubva

    Guys, here are some headlines in this issue of The Herald;
    USD3m CMED looters face arrest, Concession Hospital on verge of collapse, Cotton farmers fall on hard times, ZESA to increase load shedding, Wake up to reality, some firms are not coming back, Zim cotton market under threat, Medical societies defy government, Government condemns Seke Teachers College, Students write exam at night, EMA orders mine to stop operations, and Civil service pay dates changed
    All this in just one edition. This really is frightening to say the least. Where is the commander-in-chief at the greatest hour of need. Are we slowly sliding into the abyss as a country? We need decisive and competent leadership from the ZANU PF government. Please President Mugabe, stand up and be counted, rise to the occasion. If you can’t, then you know the best thing to do!

    • cash talk

      A very good observation and Analysis. For sure; The Head of state & GVT, Commander in Chief of ZDF; The First Secretary of ZANU PF, Chancellor of all State Universities, Patron of The War Vets Association & The Ex-Detainees & Ex-Restrictees; Patron on The Kutama Old Boys Ass. (KOBA) – His Excellence The President CDE R.G. MUGABE must take decisive action NOW!!!!!!!!!!

      • Wolves Witches and Giants

        Very true and so, we can’t even be able to build up any institutions that are independent.

        • che guevera

          like him or hate him u cant change a damn thing,,,u can **** in your plates and eat your ****…who cares!!!!nxaaaaa!!!

          • ravb

            You are so naive iwe bharanzi unozviti che guevara. People are being analytic of the situation at hand yet iwe ne your pea-sized brain unovatuka. It is about telling it as it is and not bootlicking the govt that has failed the nation and the government that is also against itself

    • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

      You can also list negatives if you get any SA ,UK, US , Nigeria, Kenya , Zambia, MALASIA, CANADA, IRAQ, EGYPT, LIBYA,newspapers. today. The negatives may slightly differ ,but crime is crime in any country! It depends on what you want to read and conclude! This is why all countries on earth have police , courts and prisons for criminals ! Yes criminals should be brought to book timely after due investigations! Why are you indicting the State President as if every criminal in any country should be accompanied by the President to jail ? What the hell are you driving at, please? As to the civil service pay dates , it is a function of the economic situation where your MDCT supported sanctions are to blame! Even if all the sanctions were going to lifted if MDCT had won the elections, there was going to be a time lag b4 the economy improves. If you care about the people`s suffering , we want to hear you condemn your party MDCT and the WEST too! Dont peddle cheap politics!

      • succuba

        Nice one (prof) so…. MDCT & sanctions are to blame….. which sanction would that be then?

        • succuba

          You seem to be shy on the response (prof)… come on be a devil lets have some fun… please respond

        • anon

          Mzvinavhu( is truly brainwashed, he blames a party that have never been in power and sanctions on Zimbabwe, when Zimbabwe have never been under sanctions.

          He is not the sharpest knife in the draw.

      • ini zvangu

        All Tarubva said, too many Headlines in one editorial, all in the negative. That is a sure indication that something is not right! He is calling upon the state to take measures imminently through the head of government, I don’t seem to see where he is blaming ZANU PF or praising MDC-T parties. There is need for corrective action urgently.

        • Tarubva

          Thanks partner for simplifying and shortening it for the self-entitled Prof.! I hope s/he will get it this time.

      • Tarubva

        Prof., all I am saying is that when a national newspaper is literally filled up with negativities of a country, then something really wrong is going on, and the leadership must take decisive action. I don’t know why, in your opinion, I become an MDC T activist by simply pointing that out. I am “indicting” the President because the buck of all government administrative issues stops at his desk, right? Although we know its beyond his capabilities at his advanced age. Look at the appointment of Masimirembwa to chair the CMED board. It is compelling to remind each other that Masimirembwa is a lawyer who was stripped of his practicing certificate by The Law Society when he stole money from a trust account some years back. He was caught red-handed with his hands in the cookie jar, and all of sudden he is entrusted to recover stolen money! How ironic! Are there no other people of integrity out there? Why bring convicted thieves into government business? No hope Prof., regardless of your spirited effort!

        • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

          Thanx for your & others crticisms of my posting. I share the desire for timely actions on the negatives issues. I also agree with the need for total integrity on BOARD members. Unfortunately I failed to separate your sentiments from those of misguided MDCT activists. I may be wrong about your position!
          But your posting insinuated that if the issues are not quickly resolved the govt Head must resign !(If you cant ,then you know the best thing to do)????? With due respect the issues, constitutionally dont quailfy for his resignation b4 2018 if he still wants to continue.. Most of the issues cited were there even during the GNU. MDCT ministers presided over some of these . Most have to do with the effects of sanctions , a fact which MDCT refuse to accept becoz they thought sanctions would make people suffer and turn then against ZANUPF . The CMED is similar to that of KADUNGURE which is in the court for swindling! The Cotton issue is beyond your understanding in respect of the international market dynamics. EMA issue is neither here nor there about the Head of Govt. Most of the issues can be linked to the economy suffering becoz of sanctions. I REMAIN ROOTED ON MY ARGUMENTS! Again , thx for the debate!

          • herb

            You’re just rooted generally.

          • che guevera

            Cde, don’t be genorous with your vocabulary with these sellouts…They must go hang and we don’t give a damn!!! Where were they tichimhanyisana nemabhunu tichibaiwa neminzwa??? PASI NEMBWA IDZI NECHEMATAMA CHADZO!!!!

      • Herb

        Cheap politics!?? You must be hoping that someone in power will see your blind devotion to delusion and will give you a turn at the political trough. My friend, adults take responsibility for their mistakes, this lot don’t. They always find someone else to blame and use sycophants like you to run stupid arguments about sanctions to cover their shameless looting of the economy. Wake up and smell the coffee dude!

    • Jongwe

      Say it again my brother! In addition to the mess, we are told the a Mr. Goodwills (maybe they would have called him Badwills) is now in charge, the same men who have failed us for almost three decades keep recycled as if without them country will grind to a halt. For sure, Comm in Chief, WHAT HAPPENED TO THE WHIP??

  • Madzibaba

    Don’t just arrest them seize any property acquired without any bank loans and gain public confidence for once .Then the walk of shame plastered on front page .

    • Neolexus

      Madzibaba, you’re right they MUST pay it back with interest. This issue of just jail time is not enough.

      • Garwe

        Zvatoperera ipapa! Muone kuti pane anosungwa here. Mahwani chaiwo; tiri patight! It seems there is no one else who has brains and is educated enough. I support ZANU (PF) but this is disgusting to say the least.

  • Ngamasela Wonke

    Mpofu to spearhead clean -up of CMED ,uMpofu sibili?Mpofu chaiye? I am about to get the Zambezi to flow backwards if anything happened to the looters. And you have Masimbirembwa (Diamond-funds-never-went-to treasury) being pulled from mines to chair CMED. These guys are just plain playing with our minds.

  • Chikonamombe

    What is the link between minister Obert Mpofu & Goodwills Masimirembwa? What’s so special about Mr Masimirembwa which only minister Mpofu sees, and no one else does? Remember when Mpofu was in Industry & Commerce, Masimirembwa was at NPC. When Mpofu was Mines Minister, Masimirembwa was at ZMDC, not its Transport & Communication, Masimirembwa is at CMED. Nothing against Mr Goodwills Masimirembwa but just mind bogling… I don’t buy the competency issue, Goodwills can’t be that all rounder, tipeiwo maserious please……

    • Skubhidoo

      What an analogy, I guess there is more to this tag-team than what meets the eye

  • Mugaradziko Stalin Sondon

    Where is the so-called Anti-Corruption Unit? This is pathetic

  • ismith

    This is a corrupt regime with top leadership that condon corruption, what happened at ZUPCO and Chombo is still in government doing more things?.

    • che guevera

      Kana uri sewe smith, shut up…JUST YOUR NAME STINKS!!!!

      • anon

        You seem to have a chip on you shoulder

  • makwavarara

    ko vakaba madiamonds avo?

  • Herb

    Ha, ha, how amusing Obert Mpofu, of all people talking about bringing corruption to book. Oh please, stop it, my sides are splitting.

  • Skubhidoo

    “My father your eminence, I have caught some looters at CMED, they ran away with $3m. Surely they shall see the wrath of the law.”
    “Hahaha Oby; I think its time to wake-up”
    Alarm rings. Oby works up.