By Zvikomborero Parafini
The trial of former ZINARA chairperson Albert Mugabe started last week with the first witness nailing him.
The witness said Mugabe wrote to CBZ assuring them that the board had agreed to set off the CEO’s mortgage.
Mugabe is facing criminal abuse charges in which it is alleged that he wrote a letter to CBZ bank misrepresenting that the ZINARA board had agreed to set off a $300 000 mortgage for its CEO, Nancy Masiyiwa.
The State led by Nyikadzino Machingura opened its case by leading the evidence of the board’s corporate secretary Mathelene Mujokoro who told the court that she was requested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to do a statement in regards to the mortgage facility given to Masiyiwa.
Mujokoro told the court that according to the submissions made by Masiyiwa in a board meeting, the mortgage wasn’t backed by ZINARA, it as her personal mortgage.
“In response to an enquiry by the board in regard to the mortgage facility, as to whether it was secured by ZINARA funds or not, Masiyiwa said it was secured by good working relations with the bank and it was her personal loan.
“As the corporate secretary, I read her agreement with the bank and there was no reference whatsoever to ZINARA, no clause linking the board so it felt that there was no need to make a resolution,” said Mujokoro.
When asked by the State where she thought the charges against Mugabe were emanating from, Mujokoro said there was a correspondence to CBZ by the then board chairman as surety for the CEO’s mortgage.
“The CEO said she didn’t have knowledge of the correspondence prompting the chairperson Wilfred Ramwi to say that there was risk arising if the correspondence was not backed by a board resolution,” said Mujokoro.
In a bid to curb the anomaly, Mujokoro said Ramwi advised that the letter could be revoked.
“In a meeting with the bank CEO, he advised us that the letter could be revoked but the bank would require and alternative security.
“We had proposals that we would take to the bank, that Masiyiwa would offer another property, or the deposit required or to indulge the bank to allow her to pay the requisite deposit in instalments,” Mujokoro.
Mugabe pleaded not guilty to the charge challenging the State to prove that he authored and signed any false letter of undertaking to CBZ advising them that ZINARA had agreed to set off Masiyiwa’s mortgage loan.
Subsequently, Mugabe’s lawyer Admire Rubaya challenged the admissibility of the alleged letters to CBZ bank.
Harare regional magistrate Lazini Ncube presided over the matter. H-Metro