Incarcerated former Air Zimbabwe company secretary Grace Pfumbidzai was on Wednesday summoned from Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison to the Serious Frauds Squad for questioning over a $10 million fraud case involving aviation insurance firm Navistar.
Pfumbidzai is currently serving a seven-year jail term for abuse of office while at the helm of the national airline. Impeccable sources close to the development said Pfumbidzai's woes were not over yet as the police had decided to deal with her together with other former Airzim officials over the alleged misappropriated cash which almost brought the airline to its knees.
Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said she was not aware of the issue as she was off duty. Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi could not be reached for comment.
Former AirZim human resources manager Maxwell Madziwa, who is alleged to be part of the top brass that signed for some of the payments that were made to Navistar Insurance, was also allegedly summoned by the police and had his statement recorded as a witness in the matter.
Madziwa's lawyer, Donald Sibanda of Sibanda & Partners, confirmed going to the Serious Frauds Squad offices together with his client.
"I can only confirm that I went with him to the Serious Frauds Squad. I shall not give you details further than this even if you put a knife on my throat. I owe my client a duty of confidentiality," Sibanda said.
Early this year, Pfumbidzai and former AirZim chief executive officer Peter Chikumba were slapped with a 10-year jail each for siphoning the national airline of millions of dollars.
The two former AirZim bosses, however, will each serve an effective seven-year jail term after the magistrate suspended three years on condition of good behaviour.
During the trial, the court heard that Chikumba and Pfumbidzai's criminal activities surfaced after an anomaly was discovered by former Airzim board chairman Ozias Bvute pertaining to amounts paid between April 2009 and April 2013 to Navistar for aviation insurance premiums.
The court heard the two former bosses appointed Navistar to provide aviation insurance cover without going to tender after terminating the services of other companies.
The duo, according to the evidence presented in court, also inflated aviation insurance premiums over payments made to United Kingdom-based Colemonte Reinsurance Brokers (Private) Limited and Reinsurance Brokers (Private) Limited.
The national airline then released £15 452,93 to Navistar, £10 607 859,22 to the two British companies and pocketed £5 895 695,49.
In May 2009, the two also misrepresented to AirZim that there was an urgent need for the airline to pay $142 300 to the European Commission to dodge sanctions, but subsequently converted the money to their own use.