Harare – Zimbabwean authorities are investigating the MDC-T for money laundering, fraud and violating exchange control regulations after millions of dollars were siphoned from the party’s account to illegal money changers.
According to a memorandum prepared by the police’s commercial crimes unit, Douglas Mwonzora with the aid of one Tody Mapingire, reportedly transferred a total of ZWL$6,355 000 to various accounts linked to illegal money changers. The police’s commercial crimes unit has since enlisted the services of RBZ’s Financial Intelligence Unit to investigate the matter further.
In a memorandum to the Financial Intelligence Unit, police claim that there is reasonable suspicion that Mwonzora and Mapingire contravened section 5(1)(a) of the Exchange Control Act and section 8(1) of the Money-Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act, after they used the MDC-T BancABC account number 50863225502015 Heritage Branch to buy foreign currency equivalent to ZWL$6,355 000.
“Some time in December 2020, MDC-T party was granted $14 million by the Government of Zimbabwe through the Political Parties Finance Act. The funds were deposited in MDC-T BancABC account number 50863225502015 Heritage Branch.
“On 18 December 2020, the accused persons (Mr Mwonzora and Mr Mapingire) transferred funds from the MDC-T party said bank account into Bell Petroleum BancABC account number 15104045502014 a sum of ZWL$2,800 000. On the same date, ZWL$1,755 000 was transferred into Madzara Trust CABS account number 1129721914. In another batch ZWL$1,800 000 was transferred to a well-known illegal money changer Martha Munandi account number 260126563. The funds were transferred in the following batches ZWL$2 800 000, ZWL$1 755 000, ZWL$1 800 000 making a total of ZWL$6,355 000.
“The MDC-T party had no relationship or any contract with the said company, trust and individual respectively; and as such there is reasonable suspicion that the accused persons were buying foreign currency from the parallel market and used the accounts to facilitate their illicit activities. We have since recorded a warned and cautioned statement from one of the accomplices who received commission from one of the entities for performing the transactions,” read the police memorandum.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed that a police report had been made against Mr Mwonzora with the police commercial crimes unit seized with the matter.
Efforts to get a comment from Mwonzora were fruitless.