The High Court has granted the Prosecutor General approval to seize property worth tens of millions of US dollars’ worth allegedly owned by Cotton Company of Zimbabwe’s (COTTCO) corruption-accused bosses.
The targeted property belonged to COTTCO marketing and business development manager Maxmore Njani who was arrested on corruption charges in June this year together with company managing director Pious Manamike.
They were both granted bail pending trial.
The High Court order showed that Njani will lose over 12 trucks with an average worth of US$50,000 each, numerous high-end tractors, trailers and top-of-the-range vehicles that include a US$131,400 Toyota Hilux, the exact make bought for cabinet ministers.
Njani, who is reportedly eyeing the Mazowe Central seat in Parliament on a Zanu PF ticket has also had large tracts of land in Mazowe, Avondale, Mt Pleasant, Glendale and Hatfield seized by anti-graft body Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to whom the order is directed.
He had initially been arrested for distributing COTTCO knapsacks, bicycles and motorcycles to his supporters.
According to the court seizure order, Njani is now being investigated for money laundering and corruptly concealing from his employer, personal interests in COTTCO transactions.
“Any investigating officer in the employ of ZACC and or other law enforcement officers of the law proper to the execution of warrants be and are hereby authorised to enter into the business and residential precincts of Njani, Chita One Logistics, and Square Family Trust for the purpose of identifying, seizing and securing the following property:
“A Freightliner (Argosy) Vehicle registration Number AEZ 7356, a Tanker (Trailer) Vehicle registration Number AEZ 7095, a home-made (Trailer) Vehicle registration Number AFQ 1784, a Shacman (Dump) Vehicle registration Number AFQ 0913, a Freightliner (Century) Vehicle registration Number AFJ 2963 A Shacman (Tractor) Vehicle registration Number AFJ 0908,
“A Toyota Landcruiser Vehicle registration Number AFN 4185, an International (Truck) Vehicle registration Number AEZ 7795, a Freightliner (Century Horse) Vehicle registration Number AEZ 6068, a Freightliner (Century) Vehicle registration Number AEU 3040 A Freightliner (FLD120) Vehicle registration Number ACQ 6629, a Hendred (Freuhauf) Vehicle registration Number AFJ 5933, a Torsian (Interlink Trailer) Vehicle registration Number AEZ 9623 A Shacman (Tractor) Vehicle registration Number AFQ 0909,” reads part of the list.
After listing a fleet of trucks and high-end vehicles, the court directive adds: “The Prosecutor General is hereby authorised to place and register a caveat with the Registrar of Deeds in respect of the towing immovables:
“An undivided 14,285% share being Share No. 6 in Lot 8 of Lot 15 Block Cof Avondale measuring 2076 square metres held under deed 1874/2021, a certain piece of Land situated in the district of Mazoe Subdivision A OF Subdivision B of Ruia Ranche measuring 4, 0470 Hectares held under deed 4938/2019.
“A certain piece of Land situated in the District of Salisbury, Lot 8 of Lot 15 Block C of Avondale measuring 2076 square metres held under deed 6576/2019, a certain piece of land situated in the District of Salisbury, Remainder of Lot 1 of stand 340 of Prospect measuring 2088 square metres held under deed 5447/2018 and a certain piece of land situated in the District of Mazoe, stand 11 Glendale Township of Lot 3 of Farm 4 of Glendale measuring 4376 square metres held under deed 1560/2022.”
According to the document, the seizure is meant to preserve the property from dissipation or alienation during investigations.
Njani’s arrest followed threats by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to crack the whip on corrupt individuals within COTTCO who had run the state enterprise down.
“Those in charge of COTTCO must quickly change their ways, there is no time any longer, certainly no patience in us suffer their irresponsible conduct,” Mnangagwa said on May 30.