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Zimbabwe police boss under fire for protecting Chinese national

by Staff reporter
24 Oct 2022 at 06:11hrs | Views
POLICE assistant commissioner Jealous Nyabasa and his subordinates are being accused of protecting a Chinese national Li Song who is being accused of fraud, forgery and externalising of foreign currency.

In a letter of complaint addressed to Police Commissioner Godwin Matanga and copied to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), Nyabasa is accused of shielding the Chinese national from investigation.

The complainant is an Italian investor Francesco Marconati who is a co-director, along with Song, at Eagle Italian Shoes. The company supplies the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), Zimbabwe Prison Services (ZPCS) and Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) among others with leather shoes, helmets and baton sticks.

Song is said to have political, diplomatic and intelligence links and has been reported to Zacc and the police who allegedly ignored the submissions.

According to Marconati's letter of complaint, in October 2021, the Italian filed charges of fraud, perjury and externalisation of forex against Song, which triggered a dispute between the directors.

He said one year later, the police have not carried out investigations and instead, submitted incomplete records which could not be used for prosecution.

Marconati alleges Song, with the help of Nyabasa is trying to silence him.

In a letter dated September 12 this year, Marconati complained that after reporting fraud, forgery and externalisation, a team of detectives was deployed to undertake private investigation on behalf of Song.

"The team spent one week in Bulawayo to retrieve information that Song intended to use for a civil suit. There is no known criminal allegation raised against this company, but in fact, Song is the one with pending criminal charges for the money she misappropriated in all the companies," Marconati claimed.

"On September 20 (this year), l wrote another complaint after receiving information that they are now tracking my son using the information of the car track that Song had provided them. I fear that my son's life is also in danger. The same police are using State resources to advance the interest of Song. Song is always in and out of the office of Nyabasa but when it comes to serving summons for her to go to court, they (police) always state that they cannot locate her."

Marconati wrote that on September 19, Nyabasa deployed a team of detectives to Marondera's Eagle Italian Shoes premises and interviewed employees concerning his personal life, leading the employees to stage a demonstration against Song.

"There is no known criminal allegation levelled against me or my companies.  That is pure abuse of power. Everything being done is meant to silence me. The government of Zimbabwe lost a lot of money through externalisation and fraud that was committed by Song using a company in Mauritius by the name Jacaranda Consultancy that belongs to her," Marconati wrote.

Marconati alleged that Jacaranda Consultancy was Song's briefcase company that she used to swindle the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe by receiving foreign currency at the auction floor and then externalise the funds.

"I strongly feel that Assistant Commissioner Nyabasa is being used to promote a new company that was set by Song in Southerton, Harare which is trying to make shoes on behalf of the police also," Marconati said.

"The criminal charges I filed are in the best interest of the nation which is losing money through externalisation. I have submitted this complaint before, l approached the courts of law and relevant authorities to register my frustration as an investor in Zimbabwe. I cannot just sit down and watch my investment for so many years being destroyed by sabotage from a public officer who is busy abusing his office."

However, the police responded to Marconati in a letter of February 2 this year confirming receipt of the complaint saying a team of investigators led by Commissioner Wiklef Makamache will conduct a full investigation into the complaint.

The letter was followed by another from the Commercial Crimes Division informing Marconati of the progress of the matter saying the matter has been sent to the Harare magistrates for a trial date.

But Marconati said the delay was a result of Song's political connections.

Efforts to get a comment from Song were fruitless as her mobile phone was not reachable.

Source - Newsday Zimbabwe