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Mnangagwa, army generals sucked into US$488 000 fraud mining case

President Emmerson Mnangagwa and some unnamed army generals have been named in a fraudulent deal that led to Harare man losing US$488 000.

General Constantino Chiwenga and President Emmerson Mnangagwa
General Constantino Chiwenga and President Emmerson Mnangagwa

The accused, Eustine Charambira (33) appeared in court on Monday over allegations of duping a Harare man Erasmus Chimbumu of US$488 000 in a mining chemical deal.

According to court papers, Charambira indicated to Chimbumu that she can only deliver after he gave her US$1 million since the deal included the President and army generals who wanted their share of the spoils.

Allegations, according to the form 242 say that Charambira was approached by the complainant, who wanted to buy mining chemicals last October after being referred by one of his suppliers, Ragu Sivaragas.

It is alleged that Charambira told the complainant she had a company that imported the chemicals from the United Kingdom through Durban, South Africa, where they would collect them into the country.

The complainant told the accused person that he had only Zimbabwean dollars; Charambira told him that her company only sold the chemicals in United States dollars.

It is further alleged that Charambira allegedly phoned the complainant the next day and advised him to send the money in local currency to various bank accounts and suppliers, who would change the money into the US dollars at the black market rate.

“From October to December 2020, the complainant sent money to various accounts supplied by Charambira. She told the complainant that he would get his chemicals in January 2021, but later changed stance and told him that the money had been stolen after failing to meet her deadline,” said prosecutors.

Chimbunu then reported the matter to Borrowdale Police Station and she was summoned. She told the police that she delayed telling Chimbunu that the money was stolen because the person who stole the money promised to pay back in April this year.

After being asked again, the accused reportedly told Chimbunu that she was expecting US$1 million from an investor, who is based in the United Kingdom in a deal that involved the President and some army generals.

Charambira again asked for US$100 000 to charter a private jet for the investor from the UK to Zimbabwe so that he could bring the US$1 million, which is part of the deal which she promised to use to pay him back.

Chimbunu allegedly sent US$50 000 to Charambira through Sivaragas, but he later on established that there was no investor brought from the UK and that there was no money that was stolen.

The State alleges the accused person prejudiced the complainant of US$488 000 and nothing was recovered.

Prosecutors initially consented to ZWL 50 000 (US$400) bail but made a u-turn after they discovered that Charambira had committed similar offences in the past.