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Chimombe and Mpofu’s arrest unveils widespread corruption

Mike-Chimombe-Moses-Mpofu

Controversial businessmen Moses Mpofu and Mike Chimombe, currently in remand prison facing a US$7 million fraud charge, allegedly employed a familiar scheme to secure funds from the Harare City Council for projects they subsequently failed to deliver, recent revelations indicate. Chimombe (43) and Mpofu (49) were brought before the courts in connection with the infamous goat-gate scandal and have been detained pending further bail proceedings.

Sources within the Town House administration reveal that the duo utilized a similar approach through Mpofu’s company, Synlak (Pvt) Limited, allegedly to deceive the Harare City Council. Mpofu, reportedly involved with local authority cartels before his arrest, stands accused of overbilling the council for various projects.

An audit report obtained by NewsDay alleges multiple instances of overpayment to Mpofu’s company. Despite being awarded contracts, Synlak purportedly failed to complete significant projects, including the construction of a biogas digester in Mbare, which was intended to address waste management challenges in the area.

Furthermore, Mpofu’s firm received payments totaling US$338,281 for a crematorium project at Warren Hills Cemetery but failed to deliver the promised equipment, prompting concerns of a US$190,000 overpayment. The audit criticizes the lack of transparency in payment processes and discrepancies between payments made and work completed.

Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume expressed outrage over these developments, particularly in light of recent tenders awarded to Mpofu and Chimombe, including one for street lighting in the city. Mafume, however, clarified that he was not yet in office when the controversial biogas and crematorium contracts were negotiated.

In response to these revelations, Precious Shumba of the Harare Residents Ratepayers Trust condemned the situation, labeling Harare City Council a “crime scene” where influential networks operate with impunity, draining public funds meant for essential services. When approached for comment, Mayor Mafume emphasized that he inherited the aftermath of these deals upon assuming office, signaling a contentious period in the council’s recent history.

In other news – Botswana receives military transport aircraft from US

The Botswana Defence Force (BDF) recently received a C-130H Hercules military transport aircraft from the United States, which landed at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Botswana on June 27, 2024. This acquisition follows the retirement of three C-130B aircraft (OM1 to OM3) by the BDF last year, which had been operational since 1997. The new C-130H Hercules is expected to significantly bolster the BDF’s airlift capabilities, supporting both military operations and humanitarian efforts.

The arrival of the US aircraft has raised concerns in neighboring Zimbabwe. President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a close ally of Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi, has expressed apprehensions about growing US military influence in Southern Africa. These concerns were articulated during Mnangagwa’s recent. Read More

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