Judgment day set for Air Zim bosses

HARARE - Former Air Zimbabwe bosses Grace Pfumbidzayi and Peter Chikumba will know their fate on April 8 after a Harare magistrate set that date as the duo’s judgment day.

Pfumbidzayi and Chikumba are jointly charged on allegations of siphoning several millions of dollars from the struggling national airline through insurance fraud.

Their trial was before magistrate Fadzai Mutombeni.

Chikumba distanced himself from the offence  saying Pfumbidzayi acted unilaterally in appointing the insurance firm Navistar Insurance Brokers (Private) Limited (Navistar) as the airline’s insurer contrary to the company policy pertaining to signing of business contracts.

But Pfumbidzayi’s evidence showed that Chikumba was privy to all the stages leading to Navistar’s appointment.

She testified that Chikumba chaired a meeting that resolved to engage Navistar.

Prosecutor Daniel Muchimbiri alleged that charges against Pfumbidzayi and Chikumba arose after an anomaly was discovered by former Air Zim board chairman Ozias Bvute pertaining to amounts paid between April 2009 and April 2013 to Navistar in respect of aviation insurance premiums.

It is alleged that the duo enlisted the services of Navistar to provide aviation and insurance cover without going to tender. They allegedly terminated services of other existing companies.

Pfumbidzayi and Chikumba are further accused of inflating aviation insurance premiums over payments made to Colemont Reinsurance Brokers (Private) Limited and Reinsurance Brokers (Private) Limited, both United Kingdom-based companies.

The firm allegedly released €15 452, 93 to Navistar, €10 607 859, 22 to the two British companies, while they allegedly pocketed €5 895 695, 49.

In May 2009, it is alleged the duo and their three Navistar accomplices also misrepresented to Air Zim 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.

Comments (4)

Pocketing over 5 Million USD to be paid by a bleeding airline - infact, by starving Zimbabweans ? Kana matiro haadyi nenzira yakadai.

Chorosi - 21 March 2015

fellow zimbabweans, You will be surprised these guys will be acquitted and will receive a golden handshake from the same airline.

chido dombo - 22 March 2015

The two are just ponnys in the game of chess. The real beneficiaries will soon come out!! Pane US$5mil pane vakuru vakadya

Garikayi - 23 March 2015

hapana mhosva apa also congrats to Vuks ,Mawaya n G.N for being acquitted panya iyi yekupomherwa nhema naChikono n his gang

gringo wegwelo - 23 March 2015

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