VP’s estranged wife arrested over US$1 million fraud

By Tatenda Marwodzi

Vice President Chiwenga’s estranged wife, Mary Chiwenga has been arrested on charges of money laundering and fraud. The Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (ZACC) is charging Mary Chiwenga with 6 counts of fraud amounting to US$1 million. The accused, through accomplices, raised fraudulent pro forma invoices through a South African entity named Falcon projects Pvt Ltd and Bonnette Electrical Pvt Ltd before instructing her bank to make payments to their accounts in the guise of importing goods for resale in Zimbabwe.

On count one, the accused externalized US$114 000 to China through her drivers Carrington Kadzingi and Terrence Mutandwa. The money exited through Robert Mugabe International Airport without any declaration.

Under count two, the accused instructed her bank CBZ to transfer US$201 846.81 to South Africa for the supply of tents and chairs. However, the funds were diverted to buy the accused a personal Range Rover Autobiography.

On count three, the accused further instructed her bank CBZ to process a transfer of US$307 545.05 to South Africa for purchase of electricity meters. However, the funds were diverted to buy a house in Pretoria.

On count four, another US$230 769.23 was unlawfully externalized to purchase another Range Rover. Under count five, a further US$36 923.08 was externalized for purchase of personal furniture.

Under count five, the accused unlawfully externalized funds amounting to US$142 858.93 to pay Martin Portigietter Attorneys that had facilitated the purchase of the house in Pretoria.

Mary is the Chief Executive Officer of East Town Holdings and she used her position to access these funds from the bank. CBZ was under the impression that these payments were for the supply of consumables to Zimbabwe.

ZACC says that the state has a right to repossess all the assets purchased by the accused through all these fraudulent transactions. She is expected in court today the 16th of December.

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