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GMB pension boss nailed again during trial

By Zvikomborero Parafini

The GMB Pension Fund boss was yesterday thrown under the bus by the director of Land department Marios Dzinoreva in the on-going $2 million fraud trial saying that as the chief executive officer he was supposed to follow due process in the acquisition of Romany Farm.

File picture of Harare Magistrates Court
File picture of Harare Magistrates Court

Dzinoreva shared the same sentiments with the permanent secretary for Local Government Rural and Urban Development George Magosvongwe who testified before him blaming the CEO Taona Munzvandi for failing to following due diligence before paying the money for the farm.

Prosecuting Michael Reza led evidence from Dzinoreva who told the court that Munzvandi failed to acquire a certificate of declaration of no interest from the Ministry of Lands because Romany Farm had been repossessed as State land and by acquiring it, state had already shown interest.

“Romany Farm was published in the Government Gazette of 2001 as acquired land, and if both accused, Munzvandi as the buyer and the seller Korbs Kobie Mutandiro the director of Romany had done due diligence, and applied for the certificate, we would have informed them that it couldn’t be sold” said Dzinoreva.

In cross examination, Mutandiro’s lawyer argued that what was published in the 2001 Government Gazette was a preliminary notice by the State intending to acquire Romany Farm.

In response, the land expert said preliminary notices apply to urban land and Romany is classified under rural land.

“Romany Farm falls under rural land and the section 5 notice signifies acquisition, that’s why it is in the gazette of 2001 and 2005, rural land doesn’t follow the process that state publishes preliminary notice,” said Dzinoreva.

Presiding magistrate Lucy Mungwari remanded the matter to May 15 for trial continuation.

Munzvandi is being co-charged with Korbs Kobie Mutandiro and Basilio Sandamu of Romant Farm Pvt Ltd where it is alleged that the trio connived to defraud the GMB pension fund by entering into an agreement of sale of Romany Farm knowing fully well that it had been acquired by the State. H-Metro