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MMCZ bigwigs go on trial on December 14

Fungai Lupande Court Reporter

THE trial of Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe general manager Richard Chingodza (41) and acting deputy general manager Hannan Tongai Chitate (35) facing allegations of awarding themselves hefty unapproved allowances has been slated for December 14 by the magistrates’ court.They allegedly swindled the parastatal of $625 226,88.

Chingodza and Chitate are facing fraud or alternatively criminal abuse of office as public officers and theft charges.

The pair is on $5 000 bail each coupled with stringent conditions.

They are being represented by Messrs Lovemore Madhuku and Isheunopa Mataka.

Prosecutor Mr Peter Kachirika told the court that the MMCZ reporting structure is such that the general manager, who is the head of the corporation, reports directly to the MMCZ board, which is chaired by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.

The deputy general manager (finance and administration) reports to the general manager while the permanent secretary implements MMCZ policies in liaison with the board.

All MMCZ employees require approval from their superiors whenever they apply for loans and the general manager is required to seek approval from the board chairperson on all requests while the deputy general manager’s applications are approved by the general manager in consultation with the board chairperson.

However, contrary to their duties and without following the procedure, Chingodza and Chitate acting in connivance, the State alleged, fraudulently awarded themselves allowances and loans amounting to $625 226,88 over a period extending June 2013 to April this year.

Chingodza, the court heard, benefited $390 985, which he awarded himself on various occasions as an acting allowance, medium-term loan, education loan, long- service award and backpay.

Chitate reportedly pocketed $234 241 on the pretext it was for his education, acting allowance and back- pay.

Chingodza was appointed the acting general manager in November 2011 until June this year while Chitate was appointed to his post during the same period.

MMCZ lost $625 226,88 and nothing was recovered.

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