Airport robbery- runway deal inflated by $13 million


A project to build a new airport terminal at Victoria Falls was granted “national project status”, which meant all vehicles purchased for the project were granted tax rebates. However, the audit found a dump truck imported for the airport project being used at Timsite Mine in Bindura.

This was “in violation of rebate conditions that stipulate that the equipment should be used solely for the Victoria Falls project”, the report says. The truck also appeared to have changed owners, as its registration was changed from ACU 9493 to ABS 6729, suggesting the new ownership.

The AG’s report does not say who owns Timsite Mine. However, a search by The Source revealed its directors as Munyaradzi Banda, a former Zanu PF central committee member expelled from the party last year, as well as Leonard Chiketa, Yang Linhai, and Cheng Minglei. However, Timsite mine’s ownership appears to be disputed.

Last year, Chiketa was accused of kidnapping co-director Cheng Minglei, driving him to the airport and forcing him to leave for China. At the time, police were quoted as saying they were keen to interview Minister of State for Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs Martin Tafara Dinha over the case.

The link between Timsite and China Jiangsu International, the contractor of the Victoria Falls airport, remains unclear.

The audit also found that two CAAZ official had received vehicles from China Jiangsu International. The two Toyota Hilux vehicles had been meant for the project at Victoria Falls, but were being used by the two CAAZ officials in Harare.

“The vehicles were being used in Harare and not Victoria Falls while the employees in question had their personal issue vehicles. The circumstanced leading to the allocation of the vehicles to the employees were no documented and I could not verify whether the allocation was appropriately authorised,” the Auditor General reports.

CAAZ admitted that the officials had received the cars from the contractor. CAAZ says: “The vehicles have since been withdrawn from the two individuals and the authority is investigating the circumstances under which they were issued the vehicles by the contractor.”

According to the audit, CAAZ’s financial losses widened in 2014 to $21,4 million in 2014, from the $14,8 million loss it made in the previous year.- The Source


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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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