President Emmerson Mnangagwa
IN a shock move President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Friday moved in and froze accounts belonging to one of his advisors and fuel mogul Kuda Tagwirei.
Tagwirei a close ally of ailing Vice President Constantino Chiqwenga run Sakunda Petrolleum that is accused of fleecing government of billions thorugh the murky Command Agriculture scheme, a brainchild of Mnangagwa’s.
With parallel market rates spiraling out of control the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe moved in a froze Tagwirei’s company accounts a clear indication they are accusing him of fanning the exchange rate.
According to a statement Friday the Central Bank froze accounts belonging to Sakunda Holdings sister companies; Access Finance, Spartan Security and Croco Motors, also placing them under an investigation.
The Apex Bank’s Financial Intelligence Unit, wrote to all banks giving them the order and demanding written acknowledgement of such order indicating it was “undertaking an anlysis” of the blacklisted firm’s activities.
“As we carry out further analysis, you are directed to freeze, with immediate effect, all accounts held in the names of the listed entities until further notice, read part of the statement.
“You shall not process any withdrawals or transfers from the accounts; you should, however, allow deposits or other flows in the accounts.
“You shall immediately report to the Unit any deposit or other inflow into the account as any or attempted withdrawal or transfer from the accounts.”
The central bank did not specify any reasons on its drastic measure.
However, Tagwirei and his Sakunda holdings are not new to controversy.
Sometime in the past, journalist-cum-activist Jealous Mawarire fingered Spartan company in black market forex laundering.
Sakunda Holdings has also emerged as a leading beneficiary of the controversial Command Agriculture, with Treasury recently failing to satisfy parliament on the payments channelled to the firm under the government scheme.
According to the Tendai Biti led Public Accounts Committee, the command agriculture programme consumed close to US$4 billion in two previous farming seasons with Treasury failing to produce documentation and vouchers detailing all the payment.
Tagwirei was last year fingered by former Zanu PF youth empowerment lobbyist and then Finance Ministry communications taskforce chair, William Mutumanje – Acie Lumumba – as the Godfather behind illegal foreign currency dealings in the country.