Investigations and Special Reports Editor
Former Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri is suspected of diverting US$32 million of public funds into family companies and buying a large swathe of property, which the State now wants frozen pending the final outcome of possible criminal cases and civil suits.
During his 25 years at the helm of the police, Chihuri and his family acquired a lot of property and other assets.
So yesterday Prosecutor-General Mr Kumbirai Hodzi filed an application at the High Court seeking an order compelling Chihuri to explain how he acquired his properties and he wants all the assets still in Zimbabwe frozen until investigations and resulting court actions are complete.
Chihuri, his wife Isobel Halima Khan Chihuri, daughter Samantha Hamadziripi Chihuri, and son Ethan Takudzwa Augustine Chihuri were listed as the respondents in the application along with relatives Aitken and Netsai Khan and six companies: Croxile Investments, Adamah Enterprises, Mastermedia (Pvt) Ltd, Mastaw Investments and Rash Marketing.
In an affidavit deposed by Mr Hodzi, Chihuri is under investigation for criminal abuse of office, money laundering, theft and fraud. He accuses Chihuri of establishing a “syndicated criminal mafia” meant to siphon public funds for his personal benefit and that of his cronies. This would have entailed externalisation of money and money laundering abroad, he said.
Mr Hodzi contends that Chihuri established the companies in connivance with his relatives for the alleged purposes of siphoning funds from the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s revolving fund held under CBZ Account number 0212050619002.
Isobel Chihuri, according to the State, is the managing director for Mastaw Investments, which received US$3 823 285 from ZRP General Headquarters after giving an allegedly fake business address.
Rewstand Enterprises received US$10 401 500 from ZRP despite using an allegedly fake address. Investigations by the police found a different company operating from that address, said Mr Hodzi.
Nodpack Investments (Pvt) Ltd of Bure Close in Strathaven, Harare, whose directorship includes Clever Nziramasanga and had Isobel Halim Chihuri as general manager, allegedly received US$5 766 252.31 from the police. But, said Mr Hodzi, this address was a residential property for a Mrs Marange who does not know Nodpack, raising strong suspicion that the address was fake.
Croxile Investments (Pvt) Ltd of 8 St Aubins Walk in Chisipite received US$1 892 040 from the police, with Vanessa Madalisto Banda listed as director and Isobel Chihuri as general manager. But the property owner is a Mr Matongo who does not know about Croxile.
ZRP also released US$10 575 732 to Adamah Enterprises Pvt Ltd of 29 Carsberg Avenue in Alexandra Park in Harare. Isobel Chihuri is also general manager of this company with Nelia Mafunga listed as director. But
investigations found this address belonged to another company called Brightcoast Construction owned by Clever Nziramasanga.
Mastermedia (Pvt) Ltd, according to the State, is owned by Isobel Khan Chihuri and it received US$1 073 038.08 from the ZRP Revolving Fund from January 5, 2016 to February 9, 2017.
Rash Marketing, which is owned by a CBZ employee called Shingirai Maponga and his spouse Sharon Maponga nee Tiyani, received US$764 370 from November 14, 2016 to December 12, 2016.
The companies won orders for the supply of goods and services without going to tender.
Besides the company dealings, the State is keen for Chihuri to explain his property holdings.
The State wants Chihuri to explain how he acquired 11 listed properties:
Seven residential stands at Police Heights on Gletwin Farm in north-east Harare;
571 Zengeza Township;
9 hectares at Fishhponds in Lomagundi district (Deed of Transfer 3177/90);
Stand 231 in Athlone in Greendale (Deed 1214/85) measuring 4 639 square metres; and
431 Quinnington in Borrowdale (5284/14) measuring 5 500 square metres.
Four vehicles are also listed under assets that need explanation. Two combine harvesters, six tractors, two planters, three motorbikes and a boom spray were found at Chihuri’s farms at Shamva and Darwendale.