BUSINESSMAN and top auctioneer Brian Makwabarara has been sucked in the cash leaks saga following Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) preliminary investigations, Zim Morning Post can reveal.
The preliminary investigations into the suspected illegal issuance of coins and notes revealed that a CBZ Bank customer was involved.
The investigations were probing the source of wads of bank notes and a bucketful of coins whose images went viral on social media.
Lucky depositors were getting as little as $100 each, amid reports that some illegal currency traders were already in possession of large amounts of the new notes and coins.
“Investigations by RBZ at CBZ indicated that an amount of $44, 180 was withdrawn by one of their customers. In this regard, CBZ Bank together with their customer are now assisting the Zimbabwe Republic Police with further investigations,” RBZ governor was quoted as saying this week.
In its response, CBZ submitted that after internal investigations, the bank established that the withdrawal in question was above board, and made by a corporate client in the gaming business.
“The internal investigations confirms that a withdrawal of $1 AND$0.25 bond coins were made at one of our branches.
“The withdrawal, by a corporate customer, in the gaming business, was an authorized transaction that fulfilled regulatory requirements.
“The funds in the container were a display of subsequent payout to a punter at the aforementioned corporate customer’s premises, “said CBZ in a statement on Friday.
Investigations made by this publication established that the Brian Makwabarara owned Africa Bet was the corporate client that CBZ deliberately shielded identity on bank-client confidentiality basis.
Employees from Africa Bet who spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity confirmed the pay-out.
“Yes indeed, those pictures of bond coins circulating on social media where taken at one of our branches as we always do when a punter makes a jackpot.
“Our bank is CBZ and our finance guys had to withdraw a lumpsome because part of our terms and conditions require that we pay our winners in cash,” explained one employee.
This development absolved CBZ from any wrongdoings, in the face of a threat by Mangudya who vowed that the apex bank will strongly punish the implicated banks (if found guilty) to ensure illegal activities do not recur.
Africa Bet is a subsidiary of Africa Gaming Holdings Group founded and owned by Makwabarara.
The astute businessman rose to fame through his combination with the late Peter Lovemore where they used to be commentators at horse races before going on to form Hammer and Tongues Auctioneers.