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Businessman nabbed for US$100K fraud

By Zvikomborero Parafini

Fremus Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd director Freddy Chimbari, who is accused of bribing ex-Zinara chief executive Frank Chitukutuku with over US$100 000 to be awarded road rehabilitation contracts worth US$20 million, was yesterday dragged to court.

Former Zinara official Freddy Chimbari arrives at the Harare Magistrates Court yesterday to face allegations of abuse of office.
Former Zinara official Freddy Chimbari arrives at the Harare Magistrates Court to face allegations of abuse of office.

Chimbari, 52, was not asked to plead when he appeared before Harare regional magistrate Stanford Mambanje and was released on $50 000 bail.

He was also ordered to surrender his passport, title deeds, to report twice a week to the police and not to interfere with State witnesses.

Representing the State, Netsai Mushayabasa alleged that during the period extending from 2010 and 2013, Chitukutuku would direct the rural district councils to award tenders for the road works to Fremus Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd without going through the tender process.

According to the State, the contracts had a total value of US$20 000 000 which Zinara paid to the company.

After receiving the said payments from Zinara, Chimbari, the court heard, transferred various amounts of money from his company account into Chitukutuku’s bank account.

It is alleged that on June 28, 2011, he transferred US$30 000 into Mawere and Sibanda legal practitioners’ trust account facilitating payment for Chitukutuku’s residential standing Glen Lorne.

On May 18, Chimbari further offered US$15 000 bribe to the ex-Zinara boss which was deposited into his personal bank account.

Two days later, Chimbari through his secretary paid a further US$29 000 into Chitukutuku’s bank account.

The court further heard that Chimbari on July 4 gave Chitukutuku another US$40 000 bribe.

Investigations established that the bribe money which was transferred by the accused into Chitukutuku’s account, was actually part of the money which Zinara had paid to Fremus Pvt Ltd.

It is also the state’s case that Chambari and Chitukutuku are friends hence the bribe money was a thank you gift for the contracts.

In total, Chitukutuku allegedly received US$144 000 from Chimbari.

He was ordered to return to court on May 7. H-Metro

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