The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), with the assistance of South African authorities, has managed to seize and forfeit property worth US$1 million suspected to have been illegally acquired in the neighbouring country.
Zacc believes close to US$7 billion is stashed in countries such as South Africa, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Spain and Singapore.
In a ruling delivered on February 9, Pretoria High Court judge Aubrey Ledwaba gave South African authorities permission to seize pending forfeiture to the Zimbabwean Government, an upmarket house in Pretoria and two Range Rovers belonging to Marry Mubaiwa former wife of the Vice President of Zimbabwe Constantino Chiwenga.
The imposing property is worth a whooping US$919 943 (R14 million).
Part of the ruling reads: “A preservation order is granted with immediate effect in terms of Section 38(2) of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act of 1998 (POCA) preserving the property (the property) identified . . .
“That the South African Police Service (SAPS) Brooklyn Police Station under Cas 308/01/2020 to seize the property as described in paragraph 1.2 and 1,3 above to be kept for safekeeping at Pretoria West Pound VSS., until the outcome of the forfeiture proceedings to be instituted in terms of Section 48 of the Act.”
Mubaiwa is being charged with five counts of fraud and contravening Section 8 (2) of Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act for “concealing, disguising the true nature, source, location, disposition, movement or ownership; of or rights with respect to property, knowing or suspecting that such property are proceeds of crime”.
ZACC, with the assistance of the Prosecutor-General’s Office, requested Mutual Legal Assistance from Pretoria in obtaining records of the transactions.
ZACC spokesperson Commissioner John Makamure told The Sunday Mail that the order against Mubaiwa is just a tip of the iceberg, as the corruption watchdog has intensified negotiations with several countries to recover ill-gotten assets.