Air Zimbabwe board pushes to recover stolen funds

The new Air Zimbabwe board led by Mr Valentine Sinemane is pushing for the arrest and specification of five senior managers implicated in the aviation insurance scam in an attempt to trace and recover $10 million the national airline was defrauded. An audit conducted by BCA Forensic Audit Services last year recommended that criminal charges be preferred against acting general manager Norbert Machingura, finance and administration manager Patience Tichagwa, general manger human resources Oswald Madziwa and former general manager finance and corporate services Oswell Matore.

So far, only Air Zimbabwe manager legal and company secretary Grace Pfumbidzayi, acting general manager Innocent Mavhunga and his predecessor Peter Chikumba have been arrested and charged with defrauding the national airline.

The others arrested are Navistar Insurance Brokers managing director Givemore Nderere, director Vukile Hlupo and finance and company secretary Orton Mawire who have been charged with defrauding the national airline of two million euro.

The audit report recommended the specification of Pfumbidzayi, Mavhunga and three companies, Navistar Insurance Brokers, Steik Enterprises and Natflo Investment, implicated in the scandal. The national airline also wants Navistar Insurance Brokers, Steik Enterprises and Natflo specified in terms of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

“In light of the amounts which Air Zimbabwe lost as a result of fraudulent transactions and in view of the need to trace how the funds were applied and assets purchased using proceeds from fraudulent transactions, consideration should be made to specify the following parties so that investigations can be carried out in terms of the prevention of Corruption Act (Chapter 9:16),” the audit report said.

Airzim acting board chairman Mr Valentine Sinamane said the national airline was working on the audit recommendations.
“The board had resolved these matters months ago,” he said. “It is management we have just tasked to draft the resolutions for your needs.”

Acting Airzim chief executive Mr Edmund Makona did not respond to questions sent to him.
Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba could also not be reached for comment as she was reported to be out of office on other duties. According to sources, the Airzim interim board is pushing for the specification of the five individuals and three companies.

The sources said the specification allows the national airline to recover the funds it was defrauded.


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