Misheck Mudyariwa’s bank account at NMB was frozen by the High Court after a whooping US$300 000 was deposited into it.

A local publication reported that the money was deposited with inadequate information on its origins, leading to authorities suspecting money laundering.

Mudyariwa, who is being represented by Advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara filed a court application trying to stop NMB from freezing his account, arguing that the deposit was payment from a contract he had with a South African company.

However, while presiding over the case, High Court judge Justice Jacob Manzunzu ruled in favour of NMB saying the details of the money must satisfy the bank in order for them to release the funds.

He wanted an order to be granted to allow him to withdraw the funds, deposited on March 24, 2022, within 48 hours from the date of order.

Quite suspiciously, the transaction did not show any record on the mirror account T24 core Banking System.  This then raised questions of legitimacy of the funds.

As the private media reported, the bank said it has statutory obligations to freeze the funds pending investigations. Mudyariwa is said to have failed to identify and verify the identity of the originator during investigations, including providing the originator’s address, identity number, or date and place of birth as stipulated by section 27 of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act, [Chapter 9:241 (the Act).

In his submissions, Mudyariwa said he obtained a loan from two SA companies, and produced a document which was an agreement between him and the companies.

He also said that he did not know the directors of the two South African companies, but only identified one as Gwekwerere.

NMB then reported the matter to the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on May 7, 2021 and later to the police, the NewsDay reported.

Justice Manzunzu said in his ruling:

“It is mandatory as per section 27 of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act for the respondent to have the information of the originator of the funds. The bank systems could not pick the funders details thereby raising suspicion that the funds could be illegitimate.

“It even became more so when a Mr Gwekwerere, who was brought into the picture by the applicant, refused to identify the funders and gave reasons for such refusal which may amount to a breach of the law within the funders location.”

Justice Manzunzu also said that it was inappropriate at this stage to order the bank to unfreeze the account.

He also dismissed the application with costs.