Home » Judicial » Airzim, Navistar Bosses in Court

Three former Air Zimbabwe bosses and three Navistar Insurance Brokers Limited directors accused of defrauding the airline of euro5 175 593 and US$502 748 in an alleged insurance scam today appeared in court for their routine remand.

Former Air Zimbabwe secretary Grace Pfumbidzayi (49), acting group chief executive Innocent Mavhunga (53) and former chief executive Peter Chikumba are facing criminal abuse of office and fraud charges.

While Navistar Insurance Brokers managing directors Givemore Nderere (45) and Vukile Hlupo (45) and finance director Orten Mawire (60) are facing four counts of fraud and one of theft

Harare provincial magistrate Mr Douglas Chikwewe remanded the six who appeared in court separately to June 9.

Prosecutor Ms Sharon Mashavira alleged that charges against Pfumbidzayi and Chikumba arose last year, after an anomaly was discovered by former AirZim board chairman Ozias Bvute, on amounts paid between April 2009 and April 2013, to a company called Navistar Insurance Brokers (Private) Limited in respect of aviation insurance premiums.

The State alleges that the duo enlisted the services of Navistar to provide aviation and insurance cover, without going to tender, while services of other existing companies were terminated.

The two are further accused of inflating aviation insurance premiums together with their alleged accomplices, Nderere, Hlupo and Orten.

Inflated payments were allegedly made to Colemont Reinsurance Brokers (Private) Limited and Reinsurance Brokers (Private) Limited, both United Kingdom-based companies.

The firm allegedly released euro15 452, 93 to Navistar, euro10 607 859, 22 to the two British companies, while they pocketed euro5 895 695, 49.

In May 2009, it is alleged the duo and their three Navistar Insurance accomplices also misrepresented to Air Zimbabwe that there was an urgent need for the airline to pay $142 300 to the European Commission to dodge sanctions.

They allegedly converted the money to their own use.

The court heard that Pfumbidzayi and Mavhunga originated fictitious debit notes in the sum of $1 659 276, 58 in 2012.

The money was purportedly requested for the aviation insurance premiums for two leased A320 airbuses.

The transaction was reportedly intercepted by auditors, but the airline had already released $360 448, 68, the court heard.

It is alleged the duo further claimed $800 000 for aviation insurance, but the board later discovered that the premiums were fully covered during the period.

Source : The Herald