Corruption Exposed: 2 soldiers in serious trouble for defrauding war veterans of ZW$300 million


ZNA officers accused of defrauding war veterans ministry of ZW$300 million

Two Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) officers appeared before Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi, facing allegations of defrauding the War Veterans ministry of nearly ZWL$300 million. Nzuzo Tshuma (34) and Dominic Musarurwa (35) pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been remanded in custody until the bail ruling, scheduled for today.

The accused were represented by lawyers George Manokore and Chipo Mashura. During the court proceedings, the investigating officer, Hillary Mazheteke, mentioned a preliminary audit report from January 2020 that implicated the accused in the fraudulent activities. Mazheteke also stated that bank statements provided evidence of some of the stolen funds.

According to the investigation officer, Tshuma and Musarurwa collaborated with two other accomplices, who are former ZNA members and currently at large. The audit report revealed a batch of applications from beneficiaries of the Veterans ministry, which the accused allegedly verified and processed. It was disclosed in court that over ZWL$200 million was transferred to the accounts of the accused individuals.

In their defence, George Manokore argued that his clients had no intention of fleeing, even after being briefed about the allegations by the Special Investigations Branch of the army. He maintained that the accused showed no signs of interference during and after their arrest. The defence argued that Tshuma and Musarurwa were seconded to the War Veterans ministry for security purposes, not finance.

Court documents indicate that the ministry has a constitutional obligation to provide statutory benefits, including school fees, to Veterans of the Liberation Struggle and their dependents. Tshuma, serving as an assistant accountant, was responsible for preparing the final list of beneficiaries for payment. Musarurwa worked as a data capture official.

The two officers allegedly collaborated to create fictitious schools and beneficiaries, using them as a means to divert funds from the ministry. They purportedly forwarded these fraudulent claims to the chief accountant for payment.

The fraudulent activities came to light during an audit, which revealed that the accused had embezzled a total of ZWL$268,648,594 between January 2020 and September 2023.

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