Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti yesterday remanded in custody to tomorrow a businessman with links to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s family amid stunning revelations that Government had awarded the man contracts worth US$42 million to buy materials, including Covid19 materials, despite the man supplying false information twice, to authorities.
Delish Nguwaya, who reportedly has connections to Mnangagwa’s sons, is set to appear in court tomorrow for his bail hearing. On the other hand, Government has since dissociated the First Family from Nguwaya.
When he appeared in court yesterday, Nguwaya was charged with, among other things, causing ‘prejudice to the good administration of the government of Zimbabwe’.
Health minister Obadiah Moyo’s job is now on the line after corruption watchdog, Zacc, said it was investigating the minister over the issue. Moyo awarded Nguwaya’s company Drax Consult SAGL million-dollar tenders for the supply of Covid19 materials.
“Sometime in 2019, the accused person connived with one IIier Dedja, still at large, tendered an expression of interest in the supply of medicines through a US$20 million loan facility under a company called Papi Pharma and it was turned down after a vetting process by the relevant government department,” part of Nguwaya’s charge sheet reads.
Dedja, a 51-year-old Albanian born in Sefaraj village, is said to have previously travelled to Zimbabwe to meet Mnangagwa, Nguwaya and other high ranking officials.
Nguwaya allegedly submitted a fresh tender using a different company name.
“A short period after Papi Pharma’s expression of interest was turned down, the Ministry of Health and Child Care received from the accused person another expression of interest dated August 22, 2019 for a similar $20 million medical supply facility now under a company called Drax Consult SAGL,” the court heard.
“The letter was addressed to the minister of Health and Child Care Dr Obadiah Moyo. The accused person again featured in the Papi Pharma documents as indication that he was basically the same person.
The state also alleges that in the expression of interest, Nguwaya and Dedja misrepresented that Drax Consult SAGL was a pharmaceutical company based Switzerland when it was, in actual fact, merely a consulting company with absolutely no experience in the manufacturing or supply of drugs and medical products.
The misrepresentation resulted in a contract for the supply of medicines and medicinal products between NatPharm and Drax Consult SAGL.
“During the consultation process, and in the furtherance of their criminal enterprise and at the end of November 2019, the accused Delish Nguwaya presented himself before Flora Nancy Sifeku, the NatPharm managing director, where he introduced his accomplice only identified as the owner of Drax Consult SAGL,” the court heard.
“During the consultation process, several written communications between the accused and the government officials were made and delivered by the accused person and of particular importance, is a letter of acceptance of offer dated October 3, 2019.”
The state also claimed that a contract was signed and Nguwaya appended his signature as country representative for Drax Consult SAGL and Dedja as its owner.
The US$2 million contract given to Drax meant that the company was going to supply medicinal products to the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
Nguwaya is also facing another count of fraud where he reportedly tendered another expression of interest using Drax International LLC for the supply of products worth US$40 million.
“Based on trust from the previous engagement, the government entered into a contract with the company for the supply of medicines worth US$40 million,” state prosecutors said.
“The matter came to light after a notable variance on prices charged by Drax International LLC to those prevailing on the market. Further checks confirmed that Drax International and Drax Consult SAGL were merely consulting companies and not manufacturers of medicinal drugs.”
Meanwhile, one of Mnangagwa’s sons, Collins, has denied connections with Nguwaya. This is despite businessman Frank Buyanga’s court submissions in a case where he is fighting for custody of his child that Nguwaya has been working with Collins to deny him custody of his child.
Interpol has since launched investigations into the Drag Consult SAGL money laundering matter.