Navistar bosses bail hearing deferred

HARARE - High Court Judge Joseph Musakwa will today rule on a bail application filed by three Navistar Insurance Brokers (Private) Limited (Navistar) bosses, who are linked to the Air Zimbabwe (Private) Limited (Air Zimbabwe) fraud case.

Musakwa, who was supposed to deliver judgment yesterday, said the ruling was not ready, postponing the matter to today.

The trio of Givemore Nderere, 45, Vukile Hlupo, 45 and Orten Mawire, 60, is facing four counts of fraud and theft of trust property charges.

Nderere and Hlupo are Navistar’s managing directors, while Mawire is the finance director.

The State claims the trio connived with the then Air Zimbabwe boss Peter Chikumba and Air Zimbabwe company secretary Grace Nyaradzai Pfumbidzayi to defraud the national airline by inflating aviation insurance premiums.

It is alleged the group presented several inflated debit notes to the airline, leading to payments of aviation insurance premiums last year.

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

Prosecutors told the court that as a result of the misrepresentation, the airline’s finance department released €15 783 452, 93 to Navistar.

According to State papers, Navistar bosses only remitted €10 607 859, 22 to the two international brokers and pocketed €5 895 695, 49.

In May 2009, it is alleged Navistar received $142 300 from the airline for onward transmission to the European Commission to dodge sanctions.

They allegedly converted the money to their own use.

It is further alleged that Colemont Insurance issued debit notes to Air Zimbabwe for aviation insurance premiums between 2009 and 2010, after the Navistar trio allegedly connived with Pfumbidzayi and Mavhunga to pay aviation insurance in the sum of €713 921, 04.

The court heard that the group, acting in connivance, received $796 079, 80 from Air Zimbabwe for insurance cover. The money was supposed to be paid to Altfin Insurance Company (Private) Limited. The group allegedly pocketed the money, leaving the airline uninsured for four years.

The trio was represented by George Mhlanga.

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