ZIMBABWE Anti-Corruption Commissioner (Zacc) Mrs Farai Chinyani allegedly kidnapped a Russian woman for three days over a contract farming dispute, it has emerged.
Mrs Chinyani, who is a daughter to former First Lady Mrs Grace Mugabe’s elder sister, Mrs Shuvai Gumbochuma, is also being accused of planning a voter education campaign in collaboration with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, without the approval of Zacc.
The voter education proposal has divided the commission, with a meeting held a fortnight ago disagreeing with Mrs Chinyani. Other Zacc commissioners feel the voter education collaboration with Zec is outside the anti-graft body’s mandate to fight corruption.
However, Mrs Chinyani’s biggest headache is her dodgy past which could compromise her fitness to hold her position at Zacc as Section 254 (2) of the Constitution says the anti-graft body’s commissioners must be persons of high integrity.
Mrs Chinyani, who is Zacc’s public education and publicity committee chair, dismissed the allegations, saying it was a smear campaign by those seeking to persecute her because of her relationship with Dr Mugabe.
According to information gathered by The Sunday Mail, Mrs Chinyani allegedly kidnapped a lady of Russian origin, Ms Olga Dzubinsky, after a dispute over a contract farming arrangement a few years ago.
It is alleged that Ms Dzubinsky reported the alleged offence to police but the case was not followed up, ostensibly because she got protection from the then First Family and former Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri.
Documents in possession of The Sunday Mail show that the complainant took the matter to the Prosecutor General’s Office, which also attempted to pursue the case but in vain.
A senior official from the PG’s office told The Sunday Mail, “We attempted to prosecute the case, but we could not go through it at the time.”
A letter from the PG’s office to the then Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri confirmed Ms Dzubinsky’s allegations.
“I hereby kindly request your intervention Commissioner General in relation to allegations made by Ms Olga Dzubinsky to the effect that the above mentioned lady committed kidnapping, unlawful entry and threats.
“The matter appears to emanate from some intended contract farming facility that is offered by Ms Olga Dzubinsky’s business which did not materialise in favour of Chinyani. However, Chinyani is alleged to have taken the law into her own hands by threatening the complainant and acting in a violent way. Allegations are that the accused continues with these threat to an extent of promising to cause instability in the complainant’s business as well as causing her deportation since she is a foreigner.”
Mrs Chinyani told The Sunday Mail that she knew Ms Dzubinsky but claimed that she was the victim.
“Ms Dzubinsky is the one who actually cheated me and she owes me US$2500. Allegations that I kidnapped her are ridiculous. You can publish the story if you want but you should mention that I know that Goodson Nguni (Zacc Commissioner) is the one who is framing me. This is all part of his plot to get political mileage and distance himself from the former first family that I am closely related to.”
Mr Nguni declined to comment yesterday. “I have no comment over that matter,” he said curtly.