ZACC SWOOPS ON VID OFFICER newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

ZACC SWOOPS ON VID OFFICER newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) yesterday swooped on a senior Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) officer deployed in Beitbridge and ordered him to explain how he became a businessman who owns seven houses, a hostel and seven vehicles across the country.

At the same time, he is prohibited from selling or disposing of the aforementioned properties unless an acceptable explanation is provided.

VID Beitbridge’s second-in-command, Knox Ozibatele Mutatabekwa, says he built his business empire starting with payments he and his wife received from previous employers, and reinvesting profits from his A2 tobacco farm.

He said he could implement the order within the time limit and convince ZACC that his wealth was legitimate.

A team of nine ZACC officers visited Mr Mutatapkwa and presented him with a High Court order requiring him and his wife, Mrs Maoni Memory Mutatapkwa, to explain the source of the wealth that allowed them to create an empire of seven houses worth more than US$1.30. $1 million, a motel worth $400,000 and seven vehicles worth about $220,000.

Mr Mutatabikwa, who owns Mutsa Lodge located in Khawalu District 1, has 15 days to respond to ZACC with proof of funds and proof of possession.

According to the High Court order dated 23 December 2023 and signed by High Court Judge Justice Chikweru, the Motatabikwas must provide ZACC with all details regarding the acquisition of the property and submit supporting documents.

In terms of the detailed order, they are each required to submit a sworn statement to the head of the ZACC Asset Forfeiture and Recovery Unit at 1872 Betterment Close, Mount Pleasant Business Park Harare within 15 days of receiving the order, explaining how they obtained the order. 13 listed properties, in particular how to pay for the assets, and highlight all supporting documents and receipts proving the legitimate business and source of income for the acquisition of the property.

Some of the listed properties include homes in Suite 8622, Khwalu District 1 worth US$150,000 and Suite 38990 Dulilvhadzimu worth US$90,000. The couple owns Stand 2501 in Dulilvhadzimu Beitbridge and Stand 5609 in Norton worth US$150,000 each.

Other homes were built on house No. 8621 in the Khawalu suburb of Beitbridge and a house built on stand No. 207 Adeline in Harare worth US$300,000.

“The other properties include Mutsa Guest Hostel in Ward No. 8659 in Khawalu District 1, Beitbridge with an estimated value of US$400,000, and another house in Ward No. 8547 in the same suburb with an estimated value of US$400,000,” the court order said.

The couple must also prove how they raised the money to purchase a Toyota Allion, a Toyota Corolla, a Mazda Premacy, an Amarok, and another Toyota Allion worth more than $220,000.

A ZACC investigating officer can physically enter the building and check the vehicles.

In his response yesterday, Mutatapkwa said he had nothing to hide and that this was not the first time he had been under investigation.

He said in 2004 another team from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) conducted investigations and concluded that his business was legitimate.

Mr Mutatabikwa said he used his group from PG Industries where he worked as a director before joining VID to buy the lodge from the late farmer and businessman Mr Fanuel Mulaudzi.

“Regarding the house in Adeline and Amarok, this is part of the package she got from FC Motors where she was CEO and we have all the documents,” he said.

“You will also notice that I am an A2 farmer in Makweru district where I grow and sell tobacco and the proceeds from there have helped me invest in real estate. The prices of those properties have been inflated.

The closure of major hotels in the city and the coronavirus lockdown was a boost for my hostel, and I was able to reinvest the money into buying residential pads and developing them into homes. I’ve been down this road before and I have no fear. Therefore, I will respond to the court order within the stipulated time frame.

Such orders are usually easier to satisfy if the asset owners or companies have obtained them legitimately as the income must usually be declared to the tax authorities, and business records must be kept for this purpose.

Inherited property, or as in this case payments from previous employers, will also be recorded. Only when it comes to tainted money does it become difficult to explain how to build a business. Announce

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