Home » Judicial » Former Airzim Bosses Have Case to Answer

Two former Air Zimbabwe Holdings (Pvt) Ltd bosses accused of defrauding the Airline of euro5 175 593 and $502 748 in an alleged insurance scam have a case to answer, a Harare magistrate has said.

Airzim former secretary Grace Pfumbidzayi and former group CEO Peter Chikumba, are facing charges of criminal abuse of duty as public officers and fraud.

The pair had made an application at the close of the State’s case before regional magistrate Ms Fadzai Mthombeni, who dismissed the application saying the two have a case to answer hence they should be put on their defence.

In her ruling Ms Mthombeni said “The offence was allegedly committed when Navistar was appointed as a local insurance broker for the airline and it is not in dispute that it was appointed when the two were still holding their positions with Airzim.

“The letter of appointing was written and signed by the second accused (Pfumbidzai) on March 18, 2009 and the first accused (Chikumba) is said to have put (some) input through aising accused to take relevant and necessary measures in this appointment.

“When the letter was acted upon by other Government departments, Navistar had already been appointed and this was not brought to the attention of the permanent secretary and the minister.

“They did all in their powers to deal with the problem the airline faced. Was this procedural, if so why did it remain a matter under the carpet?”

She added, “Who gave the authority to appoint Navistar, was it the board of directors of Airzim, was it the company executive, indeed the appointment of Navistar did not involve all other organs except the two, given that evidence, can the court safely discharge the accused persons at the close of the State’s case?

The answer is no because a prima facie case has been made against them, they are to be placed on their defence.

“The said section they relied on in terms of the procurement act was not properly followed.”

Chikumba is being represented by Mr Admire Rubaya while Pfumbidzai is being represented by Aocate Webster Chinamhora instructed by Mr Andrew Muvirimi.

Mr Daniel Muchimbiri prosecuted and the trial continues on March 3.

Source : The Herald