COTTCO bosses further detained

By Fungai Jachi

Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (COTTCO) Managing Director Pious Manamike and the firm’s Marketing and Business Development Manager, Maxmore Njanji who are facing corruption related charges have been further detained to this Wednesday.

Manamike and Njanji who are facing charges of concealing a transaction from a principal and money laundering have been further detained to Wednesday as the magistrate dealing with their case was not available.

The State opposed bail arguing that there is overwhelming evidence against the co-accused with the duo most likely to be given a lengthy custodial sentence if convicted.

The State further argued that the two are most likely to interfere with witnesses.

However, the defence argued they have no intention to flee the jurisdiction of the court as they are willing to clear their names which have been tarnished by the allegations.

It is alleged that the pair contracted their personal companies to deliver goods without declaring their interests to COTTCO.

It is further alleged that they went on to use the proceeds of the crime to buy vehicles.

Meanwhile, properties valued at US$1,1 million, including mansions in Glen Lorne and Shawasha Hills in Harare, a flat and a Mercedes Benz acquired through corrupt means by a Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) official have been forfeited to the State by the High Court.

Tapiwa Evans Chidemo, who was convicted of fraud in 2018, lost the property he acquired when he diverted Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds meant to be paid to ZIMRA clients through the Paynet system.

The ill-gotten wealth was repossessed by the National Prosecuting Authority from Chidemo who was prosecuted and convicted for misappropriating over a million United States dollars from ZIMRA.

Chidemo was charged with nine counts of fraud and one count of money laundering and found guilty of two counts of fraud and sentenced to six years in prison. One year was suspended on condition of good behaviour and another two years were suspended on condition of restitution.