Fraud Suspects Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu Await Bail Decision

July 9, 2024
Moses Mpofu left and Mike Chimombe right | Report Focus News
Moses Mpofu left and Mike Chimombe right

Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu will discover their fate on July 16 when Magistrate Marewanazvo Gofa rules on their bail application. The two have been in jail for nearly three weeks following their arrest for allegedly defrauding the government of US$7 million in a failed Presidential Goat Scheme.

Investigating officer Henry Chapwanya concluded his testimony on Tuesday, stating that Mpofu lied about his residence. The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) officers found an unfinished house at the address Mpofu provided, but his lawyer, Tapson Dzvetero, claimed Mpofu stays in a cottage. Chapwanya contended that the cottage belongs to Mpofu’s neighbor, dismissing Mpofu’s claim as false.

Chapwanya and fellow investigating officer Gamuchirai Zimunhu opposed bail, arguing that the two were difficult to arrest and had already interfered with the case by commenting on social media. Zimunhu expressed concerns about public trust in the justice system, stating that the two might abscond if released.

Allegations against Chimombe and Mpofu include forging a ZIMRA Tax Clearance certificate and an NSSA compliance certificate for Mpofu’s company, Blackdeck Private Limited. These documents were allegedly used in a bidding process for a Ministry of Lands tender to supply goats under the Presidential Goat Pass-on Scheme.

The Ministry of Lands contracted Blackdeck Private Limited in November 2021, transferring ZWL1.6 billion (approximately US$7.7 million) to the company’s bank account in 2022. However, a verification process revealed a significant shortfall in the number of goats. While the accused claimed to have mobilized 32,500 goats, only 3,713 were found. The Ministry canceled the contract in August 2022 after discovering the discrepancy.

The accused reportedly supplied only 4,208 goats worth US$331,445 and allegedly converted US$7.4 million for personal use. None of the funds have been recovered.