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Mbudzi US$1m fraud case back in court

by Staff reporter
07 Mar 2024 at 05:08hrs | Views
THE State yesterday sought to merge documents in a case in which the government was duped of close to US$1 million in a botched Mbudzi interchange deal.

Businessman and director of Ledmart Investments (private) limited, Levy Idana (39) and the deputy director of roads services in the Transport and Infrastructural Development ministry, Enerst Shenje, face charges of attempting to defraud the government.

The duo, who appeared before Harare regional magistrate Donald Ndirowei yesterday, is accused of attempting to divert the Mbudzi interchange compensation funds for personal gain.

The State led by prosecutor Lancelot Mutsokoti prayed that the dockets of the two be merged.

Mutsokoti also said the State is waiting for a statement to be recorded on the matter from the Secretary of the ministry of Transport.

The matter was postponed to April 9.

The complainant is the State, represented by the Secretary for the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development.

The duo is represented by Arshiel Mugiya and Admire Rubaya, respectively.

According to prosecutors, sometime in 2021, the Government of Zimbabwe, through the Transport ministry, embarked on a project to construct a multi-level interchange at Mbudzi which is at the intersection of Simon Mazorodze, Chitungwiza and High Glen roads.

The project affected 135 residential, industrial and commercial properties around the Mbudzi interchange. The government then set a fund to compensate the affected property owners after a valuation process.

Sometime in 2022, the ministry subjected properties that were going to be affected by the construction of the Mbudzi interchange to a valuation process.

It is alleged that the two connived to defraud the government by submitting fraudulent claims. As a result of the accused's actions, the complainant was prejudiced US$200 000 and a potential prejudice of US$803 417.

Source - newsday