Bikita Minerals raise alarm over prosecutor
BIKITA – Bikita Minerals has written a letter of protest against a local prosecutor Kudakwashe Chirongoma who is alleged to have either corruptly or incompetently removed five workers accused of diverting 40 000l of the company’s procured diesel worth US$63 585 to an unknown destination.
The letter dated May 14, 2023, was written to Masvingo Provincial Prosecutor Chiedzo Muhwandawaka and Bikita Minerals lawyers strongly suspects corruption in the dropping of the case by the prosecutor and Police.
Allegations are that five workers; Nyashadzashe Chigerwe (29), Tinashe Zhuwawo (37), Phedelice Musiiwa (58), Tadiwanashe Chitingwiza (22) and Darlington Matanga (39) were arrested and appeared before Bikita Magistrate Takawira Mugabe but have since been removed from remand after Chirongoma said Police was reluctant to investigate the matter.
Investigations showed that the five connived to divert the diesel and they were arrested and appeared in court. However, as the parties were preparing to go to trial, Bikita Minerals was shocked to discover that the workers were removed from remand.
Southern Diesel based in Harare subcontracted Blue Horizon Trucks to deliver the diesel to Bikita Minerals. Edwin Marecha, a security guard employed by Amor Shield Security at Bikita Minerals is allegedly at large.
Part of the letter dated May 14, 2023, seen by The Mirror reads: “In an effort to see an expeditious conclusion to this matter, we tried our level best to have a roundtable with Mr Chirongoma and the Investigating Officer in order to set down this matter for trial.
“We agreed that the matter would be postponed to allow the prosecutor to have a docket and cyber report, which the investigating officer confirmed was ready.
“We were later surprised that Mr Chirongoma removed the accused persons from remand. There appeared to be a difference of opinion between the prosecutor and the investigating officer so much so that there were accusations of incompetence thrown around, which we can neither confirm nor deny. The point we simply make is that there is instability in the prosecution office to our client’s prejudice.
“We also wish to express our dismay at the prosecutor’s conduct as there is no provision in the CP & E for the removal of the accused persons from remand where there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. We are not sure if it is incompetence or blatant corruption on the part of the prosecutor. This is more so as we have received reports that the accused persons were seen celebrating at the Mine the previous day that the matter is dead and they will be removed from remand.”
It is alleged that on March 8, 2023, Chigerwe, Zhuwawo and Musiiwa who are all a stores officers in the procurement department; Chitingwiza, a University of Zimbabwe intern and Matanga of Mabvuku, Harare who is a driver for Blue Horizon trucks connived to divert the tanker to an unknown destination.
Southern Diesel based in Harare subcontracted Blue Horizon Trucks to ferry the fuel to Bikita Minerals. The four Bikita Minerals workers allegedly forged the security log sheet, receiving diesel form, gate receiving log, delivery note, goods received note and payment request form before ordering the driver to deliver the fuel to an unknown destination.
After physically dipping into the fuel tanks, Gideon Chepiri, the Stores Supervisor, discovered the variance that led to the arrest of the accused.