Air Zimbabwe fleeced of $9.4 million in insurance scam


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Air Zimbabwe was fleeced of nearly US$9.4 million in an insurance scam that involved top airline officials and implicated Secretary for Transport Munesu Munodawafa.

According to The Herald the national airline is said to have lost €5 895 695.49 and US$1 298 827.88 in a four-year aviation insurance scam.

Grace Pfumbidzayi, Air Zimbabwe’s company secretary, is said to have been at the centre of the alleged scam by authorising fraudulent payments to Navistar Insurance Brokers, according to a report by BCA Forensic Audit Services.

The auditors described some of the payouts to Navistar as “outrageous”. Navistar is chaired by Patrick Chingoka who is a former board chairman of Air Zimbabwe. Chingoka said he was not aware of the payments.

It was not clear whether Munodawafa benefitted but he was implicated in the sense that he said there was no fraud but it turned out he was related to Pfumbidzayi.

BCA said it identified possible violations under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act) Chapter 9:23 which deals with fraudulent transactions in respect of:

  • Innocent Mavhunga (acting group CEO)
  • Grace Pfumbidzayi
  • Nicholas Mujere (Air Zim acting general manager)
  • Norbert Machingauta (Air Zim strategy and economic manager)
  • Patience Tichagwa (Air Zim finance and administration manager)
  • Oswell Matore (former Air Zim finance and corporate services general manager)
  • Givemore Nderere (Navistar managing director)
  • Vukile Hlupo (Navistar director) and
  • Orton Mawire (Navistar finance director and company secretary).

The Air Zimbabwe scam is the latest scandal involving a State enterprise to unravel in the past three months.

It started with the outrageous salary of Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation chief executive Happison Muchechetere who was reportedly earning US$40 000 a month while employees had gone for almost a year without salaries.

This was dwarfed by the case of Cuthbert Dube, who was chairman of the ZBC board, and chief executive of the Premier Service Medical Aid Society who was reportedly earning US$230 000 while the medical aid society was saddled with a US$38 million debt.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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