ZBC boss up for fraud

By Staff reporter | 21 Jul 2020 at 20:05hrs
He was not asked to plead to the charges when he appeared before regional magistrate Bianca Makwande.

He was remanded out of custody to August 27 on $5 000 bail.

It is alleged that on January 27 this year, Hombarume sought Cabinet approval to attend a workshop in Botswana which was to run from February 10 to 14.

Allegations were that US$6 730 was transferred into his nostro bank account and an air ticket of US$1 244 was bought for him.

It is alleged that between February 8 and 15, Hombarume did not report for work purported to have been in Botswana yet he was not there.

He allegedly converted the money to his own use and did not return it to ZBC.

The court heard that the offence came to light when Information ministry permanent secretary Nick Mangwana called for an investigation into foreign trips by ZBC staff and a special committee set up discovered that he never went to Botswana.

It is further alleged that on February 19, Hombarume went to South Africa — together with Gilbert Nyambabvu and Tapiwa Masikati Munzamba — for a workshop.

He allegedly paid them US$1 050 and US$550 respectively, which was to be paid back to him which the State alleged was unlawful and contrary to his duties.

Further allegations are that he broke procurement procedures by purchasing a microphone kit worth US$393 and luggage case worth US$318 which was to be included into ZBC stores without documentation.

Hombarume is also charged with smuggling emanating from the said microphone kit and carrier case accused of not declaring them or paying duty.

This was allegedly discovered by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission during other investigations, noticing that the equipment in store had no records of duty payment yet they were bought in South Africa.

This allegedly prejudiced Zimra of over $15 000 in duty.

Prosecutor Constance Ngombengombe appeared for the State.

Ex-Harare council housing director Matthew Marara Council directors denied bail Econet Wireless on Monday sought a court order to suspend a police warrant seeking information on its transactions because this would violate the privacy of the company and millions of its subscribers.

Police on Friday requested Econet, which has more than 11 million subscribers, to hand over details of its mobile money transactions and subscribers because authorities suspect its network was used to conduct money laundering.

In an urgent High Court application, Econet said the warrant should be suspended while the court determines its legality at a full hearing in future.

"The warrant of search and seizure is unlawful and constitutes a violation of the applicant's right to privacy and also the right of privacy of the applicant's subscribers," the company said in the court filing.

Econet argued that the police warrant was too wide in its scope, which made it unconstitutional.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government has already suspended some of Econet's mobile money transactions saying they were fuelling the black market trade for foreign currency.



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