POLICE have intensified investigations into allegations of corruption and abuse of office levelled against former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru, who was recently fired from Government for behaviour inconsistent with the discharge of her duties. The Herald is reliably informed that a number of officials who worked with the ex-VP have been put on forced leave as investigations gather momentum.
Over the past few weeks, serious allegations of high-level corruption and abuse of office have been raised against Dr Mujuru, while she avoided giving direct responses to the allegations.
She is accused of extorting shareholding from companies, demanding 10 percent bribes, illicit dealings in diamonds and gold, attempting to defeat the course of justice, extorting investors, undermining the authority of President Mugabe and seeking to depose the President through unconstitutional means.
Police sources said yesterday that they were in the process of gathering evidence over the allegations in the matter being handled by the Criminal Investigations Department.
Detectives are keen to question some of the people who were victims in some of the cases allegedly perpetrated by Dr Mujuru.
“The investigations are on and police will take action depending on the outcome,” said one of the police sources.
“The allegations warrant investigations for us to establish the truth and find out if she has a case to answer.”
Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba yesterday said she would speak on the matter today after getting details.
“I am still trying to get the details and I will only be able to furnish you with the proper position tomorrow (today),” she said.
Cde Mujuru, who was fired by President Mugabe last week, was allegedly involved in a number of underhand dealings that include corruption, extortion, abuse of office and fanning factionalism within Zanu-PF and plotting to assassinate the President.
First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe was the first to take the bold step of exposing the former vice president’s shenanigans when she addressed war veterans at the Grace Mugabe Children’s Home in Mazowe in October.
During her address, the First Lady told the former freedom fighters that Cde Mujuru was not only involved in illicit diamond and gold deals, but also coerced foreign owned companies using her office to dispose 10 percent shareholding in organisations she has interest in for protection.
The other allegations that were levelled against Cde Mujuru included working with the MDC-T and Western governments that are hostile to Zimbabwe.
The First Lady revealed that Cde Mujuru duped the ruler of Ras al Khaimah, Sheikh Saud Al Qasimi, of millions of dollars in a botched diamonds deal.
The illicit diamond deals were done through Africa Consolidated Resources, a company the Mujuru family has interests in.
The First Lady also accused Cde Mujuru of dividing Zanu-PF in an effort to depose President Mugabe using former Mashonaland East provincial chairman Cde Ray Kaukonde who used his financial muscle to subvert party structures.
Cde Mujuru, together with her allies Cdes Nicholas Goche and Didymus Mutasa, who were also fired from Government, was also implicated in a plot to assassinate President Mugabe.
Cde Mujuru also allegedly received cash payments from Kenyan and Indian financiers who had invested in the Mujuru family owned duty-free-shops at Harare International Airport before elbowing them out in a manner that bordered on extortion.
The former vice president did not only receive the cash payments in violation of the Companies Act and income tax regulations, but is accused of having used her political status to force the lawyers of the aggrieved parties, Musunga and Associates to renounce agency and forcing the investors out of the country after they had pumped over $1 million into the company.
In 2011, Cde Mujuru reportedly directed Secretary for Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Mr Ringson Chitsiko to issue her family business with a permit to import chickens from Brazil against a Government ban on such imports.
This was after she had allegedly struck a deal to import chickens from Brazil when she travelled to that country on official Government business in 2011.
The permit was issued despite there being a legal instrument banning the important of chickens as a way of protecting local farmers.
Some of the chickens were reportedly delivered to the Zimbabwe National Army in her efforts to buy their allegiance in her illegal regime change efforts.
In another case of abuse of office, the disgraced former vice president was also fingered in a $105 000 loan dispute pitting her family mining venture, Great Zimbabwe Mining Circle Trust against a Harare businesswoman Anne Thokozani Ncube.
The former vice president’s daughter Noreen Nyorovai Mujuru, Dumisani Nkosi Nyoni, Clive Kudakwashe Madzikanda and Valentine Garacho used an unregistered Notarial Deed of Trust to swindle the businesswoman of her money.
Ms Ncube, sometime in December 2012 she was introduced to Nyasha by Garacho and they allegedly told her that they wanted to borrow the money for their mining venture and promised to repay the loan within a month, plus interest.
Ms Ncube said she gave Garacho $10 000 in cash and transferred $95 000 to Nyasha into an NMB Bank Account, but repeated efforts to get her money back have been in vain since then, with Cde Mujuru’s name being invoked whenever she made enquiries.
Ms Ncube was later enticed to buy an Amarok vehicle from Mr Tirivanhu Mudariki, a business associate of Cde Mujuru, but was stopped by police who advised her that the vehicle had been reported as stolen.
Ms Ncube said she made all efforts to recover her money, but could not get any help once people heard that Cde Mujuru was involved.
Cde Mujuru was also accused of covering up a fatal accident involving her daughter Chipo Mujuru-Makoni in December 2012.
Mrs Mujuru-Makoni was allegedly unlicensed when she was involved in the accident along Enterprise Road in Harare that claimed the lives of two people, the daughter of Iranian doctor Amin Hamidzadeh and the driver of the vehicle they were travelling in, Joseph Ngonji.
At the accident scene, Mrs Mujuru Makoni failed to produce a drivers’ license and was whisked away by security details who ostensibly acted on the instruction of her mother who was in Dubai at the time.
When the Hamidzadeh’s made a follow up on the case with Highlands police who attended to the accident scene, they found the name of the driver now listed as only Chipo Makoni, while the vehicle was registered as a Government vehicle, a clear attempt to remove any link of the Mujuru name.
They were later referred to Mabvuku Police Station who were said to be handling the matter, but did not get any joy and were only informed in June this that the matter had been taken to court and the driver fined $800 and prohibited from driving for six months.
President Mugabe recently said Dr Mujuru and her cabal will be prosecuted if allegations of corruption and abuse of office levelled against her were proved.
Officially opening the 6th Zanu-PF National People’s Congress in Harare early this month, President Mugabe warned that ministers, their deputies and senior civil servants implicated in corrupt activities face the same fate.