Navistar bosses granted bail

HARARE - Harare Court Judge Joseph Musakwa has freed on bail three Navistar Insurance Brokers (Private) Limited (Navistar) bosses, who are linked to the Air Zimbabwe (Private) Limited (Air Zimbabwe) fraud case.

Musakwa yesterday granted $5 000 bail each to two of the bosses, Givemore Nderere, 45, and Vukile Hlupo, 45, while Orten Mawire, 60, was freed on $1 000 bail.

Nderere and Hlupo are Navistar’s managing directors, while Mawire is the finance director. They are facing four counts of fraud and theft of trust property charges.

The trio, through their lawyer George Mhlanga, had appealed to the High Court after a Harare magistrate denied them bail.

Musakwa said the magistrate had erred in denying the trio bail, by failing to consider some of the circumstances surrounding the case. He said the magistrate’s ruling was typical of “how not to write a judgment”.

“The lower court failed to acknowledge the fact that the appellants handed themselves to the police and that they knew of the case before hand,” Musakwa said, adding that this warranted a “culpable misdirection”.

Musakwa, however, said he was going to grant the trio bail on different conditions, based on the roles they played as alleged by the State.

He ordered Nderere and Hlupo to cede title deeds for immovable properties, surrender passports and report daily to CID serious fraud, as part of their bail conditions.

Mawire will report to police thrice a week. He was also ordered not to apply for travel documents until the finalisation of the matter. The trio was also ordered to reside at addresses they provided to the state and not to interfere with witnesses and investigations, until the conclusion of the case.

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

It is alleged that 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 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, before further pocketing insurance fees.

Comments (2)

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