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Pic credit: Lee Maidza Herald

Zimstat boss remanded in custody for fraud

Taguma Mahonde, the director general of Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat), was remanded in custody yesterday by Harare magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa. He is facing several criminal charges, including fraud, corruption, and obstructing the course of justice.

Mahonde is accused of claiming educational allowances for himself and his children that he was not entitled to. He allegedly received over $4 million from Zimstat between September 2021 and January 2023, based on false memos and without providing any school invoices.

The case was exposed by an internal audit conducted by Claudius Matiza, the head of internal audit at Zimstat. Mahonde allegedly tried to suspend Matiza and influence the Zimstat board to review his allowances retroactively in order to cover up his offence.

He also attempted to refund some of the money after the investigations by the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (ZACC) had started. However, he only paid back $756 047.33, leaving a balance of $3 244 952.67.

The State and its witness, Eric Chacha from ZACC, opposed granting of bail to Mahonde. They argued that he was a flight risk and could interfere with witnesses and evidence. The bail ruling was postponed to next week.