Gokwe-Nembudziya legislator Justice Mayor Wadyajena’s anguishes continue to mount after alert border authorities in Beitbridge impounded two of his top-of-the-range vehicles which he allegedly intended to furtively take to South Africa.
Wadyajena, together with three Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) bosses, is already facing US$5 million fraud charges after allegedly using funds for importing bale ties to import trucks, buy fuel and make an assortment of other payments that had nothing to do with the ties.
In the latest case, alert security agencies intercepted Wadyajena’s luxury cars from being taken to South Africa.
Sources said the two vehicles, a red BMW X6 and a Lamborghini, both high-performance Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV) were being transported from Harare to Beitbridge en-route to South Africa, in a carrier haulage on Thursday evening.
According to the vehicle clearance documents, the two vehicles were cleared at the Central Investigations Department (CID) Vehicles Theft Squad (VTS) in Harare on Wednesday.
“The yellow Lamborghini, engine number DHU005304 was being driven by the legislator’s young brother, Professor Tatenda Wadyajena (32) a footballer while the BMW X6 engine number 21470026 was being driven by Kudakwashe Kuora (32), a customs clearing agent,” said a border official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“We got information that the lawmaker was clandestinely moving his assets to South Africa ahead of the conclusion of his alleged Cottco fraud trial.”
The official said the two vehicles arrived at the border post at around 10 am on the pretext that they were being transported to South Africa for routine service.
Security agents got suspicious about the timing by the legislator to move the two vehicles soon after getting bail pending trial in the US$5 million fraud case, sources said.
Contacted for comment, Wadyajena promised to return the call, but had not done so by time of going to print.
“I will call you back later once I get settled,” he said before cutting the call.
The two impounded vehicles generated a lot of interest from the travelling public and security officials had a torrid moment as they battled to prevent people from taking pictures.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi was not readily available for comment last night.
The legislator, who is the chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, is accused of siphoning millions of dollars from the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco).
He was arrested on Tuesday and charged with fraud and money laundering involving US$5 million together with four others and two companies, including his Mayor Logistics.
The other accomplices are Cottco managing director, Pius Manamike (54), Cottco head of marketing, Maxmore Njanji (47), Cottco acting procurement manager, Fortunate Molai (34) and Chiedza Danha (39).
The accused persons were granted $200 000 bail each by a Harare magistrate and ordered to surrender title deeds of their properties as surety.
Charges are that sometime in 2019, the legislator and his cabal hatched a plan to defraud Cottco through fictitious purchases of goods purportedly for use by the organisation.
They are accused of opening a shelf company, Pierpont Moncroix, which was later recommended by Molai to supply Cottco with three million high carbon bale ties valued at US$2,6 million to carter for the 2019 ginning season.
It is further alleged that the name of the company they used was the same as that of a Mauritius company so as to mislead Cottco.
Wadyajena and crew are said to have allegedly approved a fraudulent purchase order in favour of Pierpont Moncroix Mauritius valued at US$2,528 million purporting that Pierpont Moncroix Mauritius was going to supply 3,2 million bale ties to Cottco on 14 March 2019.
Instead of importing the bales, the cabal is alleged to have imported 25 trucks from a United States of America between 2019 and 202.
The trucks were later registered under Mayor Logistics.
In November of the same year, Manamike and Njanji are accused of issuing a second purchase order on behalf of Cottco, which was valued at US$1,106 million for the purchase of the bale ties from Giant Equipment Company.
The order was then approved even though Giant Equipment had failed to deliver the first order and no bales were delivered as the money was allegedly transferred to Afrozurich International in a currency swap deal.
Molai is alleged to have sent an email to the Cottco’s treasurer in November 2021 in which she requested the company to pay a deposit of US$2, 5 million for the purchase of other bales from Energy Park Company.
Later that month US$363 900, being part of the transfer to CBZ Energy Park Account of US$750 000 was allegedly transferred to Maropafadzo Energy (Pvt) Ltd Ecobank account and US$421 000 was transferred to Energy Park Bulk Fuels (Pvt) Ltd the following day.
In March this year two more payments of US$450 000 and US$1 000 000 were allegedly made from Cottco’s CBZ account to Maropafadzo Energy company as requested by the supplier.
As a result US$2,2 million was paid against the order of US$4 578 078.