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FNB, Standard Bank implicated in money laundering as Zimbabwe vice-president’s wife arrested over fraud allegations

Wife of Zimbabwe's vice President, Marry Mubaiwa, is in serious trouble with the authorities in Zimbabwe, facing a raft of charges from money laundering and fraud, to murder

 

Zimbabwe Digital News and News24

 

Two of South Africa’s big four banks – First National Bank, and Standard Bank – have been implicated in a scheme that allowed one of Zimbabwe’s most powerful woman to buy vehicles and property in South Africa.

Zimbabwe’s anti-graft commission arrested the wife of one of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s deputies on fraud and money-laundering charges involving 1-million US dollars, documents seen by newspapers revealed.

Mubaiwa on Monday appeared before a magistrate to answer to several counts of fraud and misrepresentation, but got slapped with fresh charges of attempted murder.

The fresh charges list say Mubaiwa attempted to kill the Vice President as he lay helpless on a hospital bed in South Africa earlier in the year, when she asked hospital staff for privacy with the patient, before proceeding to unplug Intravenous equipment and smuggling vice-president Constantine Guvheya Nyikadzino Chiwenga out of hospital.

According to the State, the plan was foiled by alert security personnel, but after Marry had already succeeded to unplug the equipment and taking the helpless Chiwenga out of the room.

Fraud and Money Laundering

Anti-corruption officers detained 38-year-old Marry Mubaiwa at the weekend, according to a police report.

And according to details revealed in the charge sheet, Chiwenga himself is appears to be challenging the legal basis of their marriage.

Former model Mubaiwa was arrested on suspicion of having contravened the Exchange Control Act and fraud, they said.

The charges filed by anti-corruption investigators accuse her of having transferred a million US dollars from her foreign currency account in Zimbabwe to South Africa under the pretext of paying for goods bought there.

Some of the money was used to buy a house in the up-market Waterkloof Golf Estate in Pretoria, says the charge sheet.

The charge sheet sometime in November 2018, Mubaiwa allegedly instructed Chakuinga to come up with a proforma invoice for the supply of event tents and chairs.

First National Bank

The invoice was subsequently sent to CBZ Bank where US$201 846, 81 was transferred into Falcon Projects Suppliers (Pvt) Limited’s FNB Bank account.

In February this year, Mubaiwa instructed Chakuinga to raise another proforma invoice for the supply of prepaid household electric meters.

On February 4 2019, the invoice was sent to CBZ Bank, resulting in the transfer of US$307 545,05 into the FNB Bank account of Falcon Projects Suppliers (Pvt) Limited, South Africa.

Instead of buying the meters, the money was allegedly used to buy a house, 1309 Kingstone Heath Close, Waterkloof Golf Estate, Pretoria, South Africa.

The house was registered in the name of LaChelle Travel and Tours (Pty) Ltd South Africa, a company in which Mubaiwa is the sole shareholder.

Sometime between February and March this year, Mubaiwa allegedly asked her friend, Judith Gamuchirai Goredema, to source R3 000 000 in South Africa to buy a second Range Rover vehicle.

Standard Bank

In May 2019, Chakuinga raised another proforma invoice for the supply of prepaid meters.

CBZ then transferred US$142 858,93 into Bonnette Electrical Pty Ltd where it was transferred to (Martin Potgieter Attorneys Trust’s bank account with Standard Bank, South Africa, allegedly towards the purchase of the same 1309 Kingstone Heath Close house.

And a fraud charge has raised questions about the legitimacy of Mubaiwa’s marriage to Chiwenga.
In this charge, she is alleged to have misrepresented the circumstances of her wedding to Chiwenga, who is named as a complainant, to a high court judge.

Chiwenga himself, says the complaint: “…was bedridden and not in a condition to consent to the marriage.”

Chiwenga is a powerful figure in Zimbabwe, having led the coup that ousted long-time ruler Robert Mugabe.

But he has suffered form ill health for some time and only returned to the country in November after four months being treated in China.

On his return, while he was welcomed by China’s deputy ambassador to Harare, his wife Marry was absent. She was also absent from a welcome ceremony held for Chiwenga at his rural home.

 

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