Court removes RBZ director from remand

SUSPENDED Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) financial intelligence unit director Mirirai Chiremba has been removed from remand in a case he is charged with criminal abuse of office.
The State consented to proceed by way of summons when ready for trial.

Chiremba had applied for refusal of further remand arguing that he is employed and the proceedings were interfering with his duties as the unending remands were amounting to punishment without a trial. Magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa yesterday granted his application.

“I concur, further remand is refused, the case will proceed by way of summons,” Mugwagwa ruled.

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 intelligence 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.

It is alleged that Chiremba granted the company permission to make daily withdrawals of $95 000 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 without following procedures.

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