PREMIER Service Holding Company CEO, Dr Farai Muchena, and three senior executives, who are being implicated in a gold scam involving over US$700 000, have been described as “terrorists,” by the investigating officer.
He says they are not suitable candidates for bail.
In opposing bail, the State led evidence from the investigating officer, Eric Chacha, who equated Muchena and his accomplices – Victor Chaipa, Cosmas Mukwesha and Polite Mugwagwa’s actions – to a terrorist attack.
He said they allegedly misappropriated over US$700 000 that was meant to buy medication.
“I equate their actions to a terrorist attack because thousands of Zimbabweans are suffering because of their actions,” Chacha said.
“They can’t access adequate medical care and medication because of these people.”
He was asked to withdraw his statement by lawyer Tapson Dzvetero in cross examination.
Chacha maintained that, if granted bail, the four were likely to interfere with state witnesses who happen to be their subordinates.
He added even though Muchena, Chaipa and Mukwesha were barred from going to work, they could still interfere with witnesses.
He said they are also likely to be attacked by members of the public who have been angered by their actions.
Chaipa is the Premier Service Holding Company strategy performance executive, Mukwesha is the group secretary and Mugwagwa the performance manager.
Allegations are that in 2020, the PSMAS board, with the objective of raising foreign currency for the procurement of drugs and medical equipment, resolved that management would venture into gold buying and selling.
It was further resolved that staff members from its Procurement department were to act as buyers and agents for buying the gold on behalf of the Society.
The board also resolved to pursue other investment projects such as cannabis growing and Micro Finance.
The State is alleging that Muchena sent a memo to PSMAS requesting funding for the gold project.
The funding request amounted to US$237,794 with US$108,674 as pre-trading funding.
Muchena advised PSMAS about the formation of a company styled, Claydust, solely for the buying and selling of gold to Fidelity.
In response, PSMAS disposed of its Zimbabwe Bank (ZB) shares totalling 65 9643, valued at US$38 000, solely for the funding of the gold project.
Thereafter, the State alleges Muchena, in connivance, with his accomplices, diverted from the initially agreed position of using PSMAS’s procurement team in buying the gold on behalf of the Society.
Instead, they allegedly engaged 18 private agencies, unknown to the PSMAS, for gold buying.
Subsequently, from the period extending from 2019 to 2022, they received gold from five of the private agencies, which was then sold to Fidelity.
Muchena and his accomplices allegedly realised up to US$702 386, having misled Fidelity Printers that they needed hard cash for the purchase of drugs and pharmaceuticals.
The cash was allegedly converted for their own use.