Zimparks board vice chairperson charged with corruption

Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent

Former Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) board vice chairperson Idah Mupamhanga yesterday appeared in court for alleged criminal abuse of duty and corruptly concealing a transaction from a principal charges.

Mupamhanga was not asked to plead when she appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Learnmore Mapiye.

She was freed on $1 000 bail.

She was ordered to reside at her given address and not to interfere with State witnesses. The court heard that on June 21, 2016 Zimparks through the then director commercial services Mr Tarisai Musonza wrote a letter to Mabelengwe Safaris (Pvt) Ltd represented by Rodgers Madangure advising them that they were not renewing their lease agreement for a hunting concession in Matopos Unit 1 Victoria Falls, which was expiring on December 31, 2016.

It is alleged that the reason was that they had operated for the stipulated period of 10-years as stipulated in section 370 of the Parks and Wildlife Act.

It is the State’s case that on September 12 2016, Madangure wrote a letter to Zimparks seeking an extension of the lease.

On October 2016 Musonza allegedly advised Madangure that due to the overwhelming requests received by the said hunting concession, it will be auctioned to the general public after being advertised in the national daily newspaper and also posted on the Zimparks website.

The court heard that on October 20, 2016 Mupamhanga instructed the legal department to prepare a memorandum of agreement for leasing Matetsi Unit 1 concession without a board resolution.

The memorandum of agreement was entered into by Zimparks being represented by Godfreys Matipano, then acting director general and Mabelengwe Safaris and Tours (Pvt) Ltd.

It is alleged that the lease was given to Mabelengwe Safaris without being auctioned and without a board resolution.

On the second count it is alleged that on October 20, 2016 Mabelengwe Safaris (Pvt) Ltd was issued with a memorandum of agreement to operate a hunting concession at Mutetsi Unit 1, Victoria Falls for 10 years from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2026.

The court heard that on October 24, 2016, Mupamhanga received an amount of $10 000 from Madungure without the knowledge of the Zimparks board.

The money was transferred from Madangure’s account with Standard Chartered bank to her ZB Bank account.

Upon receipt of the money and on October 26, 2016 Mupamhanga allegedly transferred the money from her ZB account into Zimparks ZB bank account as a donation without disclosing the true nature of the transaction to the board and management.

Mr Jonathan Samukange represented Mupamhanga.

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