Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu in deep trouble over US$7 million Presidential Goat Scheme scandal


Harare businessmen accused of defrauding government in goat scheme scandal

In a concerning development, two Harare-based businessmen, Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu, have found themselves at the center of a high-profile fraud case involving the misappropriation of millions of dollars from the government’s Presidential Goat Scheme.

The two men, aged 43 and 49 respectively, were arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mrs Marehwanazvo Gofa, charged with fraud.

According to the prosecution, Mpofu, who serves as the managing director of Blackdeck Pvt Ltd, and Chimombe, are accused of defrauding the government of a staggering US$7 million after they allegedly failed to fulfill their contractual obligations to supply the promised goats, despite having received the payment.

The State has vehemently opposed the granting of bail, with prosecutor Mr Anesu Chirenje seeking a postponement of the matter until today to allow for a thorough examination of the documentary evidence and the presentation of testimony from two investigating officers.

The magistrate, Mrs Gofa, ultimately ruled in favour of the State, adjourning the matter until today for the bail ruling.

The prosecution alleges that Mpofu and Chimombe forged a Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) tax clearance certificate and a NSSA compliance certificate in the name of Blackdeck, which they then attached to the bidding document submitted to the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development for the Presidential Goat Pass-on Scheme tender.

Investigations have revealed that the certificates were falsified, with the NSSA compliance certificate belonging to a different company and Blackdeck Pvt Ltd being deregistered from the NSSA system in January 2016.

Furthermore, the ZIMRA tax clearance certificate was also found to be fraudulent, with the QR code belonging to a different company.

The ministry subsequently transferred ZWL$1.6 billion (equivalent to US$7.7 million at the time) into the company’s bank account. However, investigations revealed that the accused persons only managed to supply a total of 4,208 goats valued at US$331,445, and allegedly converted the remaining US$7.3 million to their personal use.

This case has sent shockwaves throughout the country, highlighting the urgent need for robust measures to ensure the transparency and accountability of government procurement processes. As the investigation continues, the public eagerly awaits the outcome of the bail ruling and the subsequent legal proceedings.

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