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Chihuri case: More properties unearthed

By Daniel Nemukuyu

Twelve more properties linked to former police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri have now been identified and the State wants these added to the list of frozen properties pending the outcome of investigations into charges that he diverted over US$32 million of public funds into family companies.

Augustine Chihuri
Augustine Chihuri

Chihuri is accused of diverting police funds and buying a large swathe of property, which the State now wants frozen pending the final outcome of possible criminal cases and civil suits.

Recently, Prosecutor-General Mr Kumbirai Hodzi filed an application at the High Court seeking the freeze of 11 immovable properties and an assortment of vehicles and farm equipment.

While the application was pending at court, investigators unearthed 12 more houses and stands worth millions of dollars, which they believe could have been financed from diverted police funds.

Chihuri is under investigation for criminal abuse of office, money laundering, theft and fraud.

Mr Hodzi 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.

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, Rash Marketing and Rewstand Enterprises.

The 12 newly-identified properties the State wants added to the frozen list are:

10 Stafford Road, Mt Pleasant, Harare

1 Bure Close, Stathaven, Harare.

8 St Aubins Close, Chisipite, Harare.

29 Carsberg Avenue, Alexandra Park, Harare.

Lot 3 of Plot 4 of Juliasdale in the name of Ethan Augustine Chihuri and Samantha Chihuri.

Lot 28 Chisipite Township of Chisipite in the name of Samantha Chihuri.

828 Mt Pleasant Township of Mt Pleasant, in the name of Nicole Tawonga Chihuri.

14453 Bulawayo Township of Stand 15038 Bulawayo Township in the name of Augustine Chihuri.

571 Zengeza Township in the name of Augustine Chihuri.

Lot 7A of the Ranche in the name of Abigail Makono nee Billie (a co-director of Rewstand Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd cited with both her and the company already cited as respondents.

18848 Harare Township of Salisbury Township in the name of Abigail Makono nee Billie.

5346 Mufakose Township in the name of Beaular Billie. (a co-director of Rewstand Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd and already listed as a respondent).

The list of newly-discovered immovable properties has since been added on the already identified properties through an amended draft order.

Initially the State had identified the following 11 immovable properties:

Seven residential stands at Police Heights on Gletwin Farm in north-east Harare;

9 hectares at Fishponds 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.

During his 25 years at the helm of the police, Chihuri and his family acquired a lot of property and other assets.

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.

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. The Herald