July 31, 2019

Arrested Zim Govt official facing more counts

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Leroy Dzenga

FORMER Principal Director, State Residencies in the Office of the President and Cabinet in Zimbabwe, Douglas Tapfuma, is facing more counts of criminal abuse of office.

According to the State, Tapfuma is being investigated for several other cases of importing over 100 vehicles, duty free, under false pretext.

Tapfuma, who on Wednesday appeared before the Harare Magistrates’ Court is facing three counts of criminal abuse of office as a public officer according to the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.

He was remanded in custody to August 15, by Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya.

The state, opposing Tapfuma’s bail bid, indicated that there were more vehicles suspected to have been imported by the accused, acting in cahoots with other senior public officials.

State Prosecutor Mr Charles Muchemwa said Tapfuma was being investigated for other similar offenses and was not a suitable candidate for bail.

“As we speak, police are in the process of investigating the accused. He is suspected to have brought in more than 100 vehicles using the same method. If he is allowed out custody it may be difficult to further investigate,” Muchemwa said.

Providing evidence in support of the state’s position to deny Tapfuma bail, ZACC Investigating Officer Mr Timothy Guta said there was “overwhelming evidence” against the accused.

“The case that we are currently here for is an offshoot of a bigger case in which the accused is a suspect. We have been working on it since December 2018. The accused is under investigation where he used the same modus operandi to import 100 plus cars.

“We have so far recovered 17 vehicles from the accused,” Guta said.

Tapfuma is one of the first government officials, to be investigated by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, for alleged graft, since the appointing of the new commission.

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