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Mudenda writes letter to courts demanding release of Wadyajena passport

Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda wrote a letter to the courts demanding the release of Gokwe-Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena’s passport in the case he is accused of money laundering involving more than US$5,8 million.

In his letter, Mudenda argued that Wadyajena needed to travel to Germany and Britain on parliamentary business.

The Zanu-PF MP was arrested last month together with Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) managing director Pius Manamike, head of marketing, operations, ginning and logistics, Maxmore Njanji and Procurement Specialist Fortunate Molai, and Pierpont Moncroix Director Chiedza Danha by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) on suspicion that they laundered more than US$5,8 million and “created empires or big spheres of influence” using their alleged loot.

Justice Mayor Wadyajena arriving at Parliament in a Jaguar XJ
Justice Mayor Wadyajena arriving at Parliament in a Jaguar XJ

Wadyajena, who is represented by his lawyer Oliver Marwa, allegedly bought 25 haulage truck horses while his two luxury cars, a Lamborghini Urus and a BMW X6, were impounded as part of investigations into the fraud.

His co-accused Njanji successfully filed for the release of his passport saying he wanted to go to South Africa for medical examination as the state failed to oppose his application.

Wadyajena and his accomplices are accused of defrauding Cottco of US$5,8 million through fictitious purchase of goods purportedly for use by the government-owned firm.

It is further alleged that the accused persons then created a local company identical to a Mauritius company which they allegedly used to get orders for Carbon Bale Ties, which were to be used by Cottco.

The state claimed that the cotton company did not receive the bales as per the agreement with the intended company and the accused persons allegedly diverted the money for personal benefits.

The accused persons are out of custody on ZWL200 000 bail.

The case has, however, raised suspicions of squabbles between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga.

Wadyajena is believed to be Mnangagwa’s ally hence his arrest when the President was out of the country.

To confirm the political nature of his arrest, during bail application, Wadyajena’s lawyer told the court that ZACC was being “dragged into some political games”.

“There cannot be anything more evil than what ZAAC is doing against the fourth accused. This court is now being dragged into some political games and the public is crying that ZAAC is arresting and releasing people; it has turned into a ‘catch-and-release’ game,” Marwa said.

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