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Cottco manager denied bail

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Cottco manager denied bail

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MIRROR REPORTER


CHIREDZI -Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) Chiredzi Depot Business Unit Manager, Innocent Gukwe (35), who was remanded in jail on allegations of theft and corruption was on Friday denied bail by Magistrate Vimbai Mutukwa.
He was remanded in custody to April 26, 2024.
He is being represented by Prince Ganyani of PC Ganyani Law Firm, Charles Vhudzi of Vhudzi and associates Law Firm and Rita Chakauya of Muzenda and Chitsama Legal Practitioners.
Despite his proposal to pay US$500 or any amount which the court deems necessary through his lawyer Rita Chakauya, Magistrate Mutukwa said if given bail he is likey to interfere with witnesses.
Gukwe was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti- Corruption Commission (ZACC).
ZACC investigating Officer, Taurai Andrew Ziyambe told the court that Gukwe is likely to interfere with witnesses as he has already transferred and terminated some employees’ contracts when he heard that he was being investigated.
In January 2024, Gukwe instructed Brighton Muza, a driver of a truck registration number AGJ 7704 belonging to Muguju Transport to collect 300 by 50kg bags of compound L fertilizer from Cottco Kadoma depot.
On 11 January 2024, Cottco Kadoma transferred the 300 bags to Cottco Chiredzi Business Unit under internal movement of fixed items documents.
Muza collected the 300 bags of fertilizers but did not deliver them to Chiredzi depot but diverted them to an unknown destination.
The court also heard that on 22 January 2024, Gukwe instructed Muza to go to Chiredzi Bussiness Unit with internal movement of fixed item document for transfer of 300 by 50 kg bags compound L fertilizers claiming that the fertilizers were delivered at Ngundu transit Depot.
Stores person at Chiredzi depot then querried why the document for fertilizers that were collected on 11 January 2024 was presented on 22 January 2024 and Muza said he was busy transporting other loads.
Total cost of the fertilizer is US$10 500
On count two it is alleged that in 2022, Gukwe hatched a plan to siphon money from Cottco by proposing to contract a tranporter with favourable rates. Gukwe then bought two trucks and registered them in the name of Regis Chivaura. The registration number for the trucks are AFS 2424 and AFU 4824. Gukwe using his position would give the trucks frequent contracts and facilitate prompt payments. Gukwe got US$122 421.47 from Cottco.
Ronald Kwangware prosecuted.

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