RBZ director charged with criminal abuse of office

HARARE - Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) financial intelligence unit director Mirirai Chiremba was hauled before the courts yesterday facing charges of criminal abuse of office.

Chiremba allegedly reviewed Suzan General Trading’s application from $95 000 to $195 000, while the said application was still undergoing due diligence at NMB Bank.

Chiremba, who appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa was released on $6 000 bail.

As part of his bail conditions, he was ordered to surrender his passport and title deeds to his Malborough residence. He was also ordered not to interfere with investigations and continue residing at the address he gave to the police till the matter has been finalised.

According to the State, on October 13, 2017, Suzan General Trading, a gold dealer opened an NMB corporate bank account at Borrowdale branch which was meant to facilitate payments by Fidelity Printers and Refiners for gold delivery by the company.

At the time, the court heard the corporate withdrawal limit per day was $10 000.

It is alleged that on October 27, 2017, Suzan General Trading through one of its signatories Shah Saunilkumar submitted an application at NMB seeking review of its daily withdrawal amount from $10 000 to $30 000 per day.

According to State papers, NMB carried out due diligence exercise to determine the justification for upward review before it referred the application to RBZ financial unit for processing.

The application was approved by Chiremba on November 3 last year, the court heard.

It is the State’s case that the withdrawals in question were dependent on US dollar deposits made by Suzan General Trading into the same account.

On February 23, 2018, it is alleged that Suzan General Trading tendered another application for upward review of their company’s daily withdrawal limit from $30 000 to $95 000 purportedly due to business expansion.

The court heard that NMB did due diligence before referring the letter to RBZ on behalf of the client.

On August 3 this year, the court heard that the company sought another upward review to $195 000 and followed the usual process.

While NMB Bank was still reviewing the application it is alleged that on August 7, Chiremba granted the company permission to make daily withdrawal of $195 000 despite the fact that the application had not been sent to RBZ’s financial intelligence unit.

Upon realising that Chiremba approved the application before NMB carried its due process, the bank’s retail banking manager Simon Tembo contacted Chiremba who confirmed having approved the upward review.

It is the State’s case that Chiremba acted contrary and inconsistent to his duties as a public officer by reviewing the company’s daily cash withdrawal limit from $95 000 to $195 000 without following procedures.

Chiremba will be back in court on January 10 for routine remand. He will be reporting every Monday to the police until his case is finalised.

Zivanai Macharaga prosecuted.

 

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Comments (1)

No wonder the magistrate gave him only $6000.00 bail. Unless there is more to this then is stated it sounds like a hit job especially when we have some real corrupt characters in government that are not touched.

Ticky Sibanda - 7 December 2018

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