Parliament tells police & ZACC to investigate Musarara


Harare (New Ziana) – Parliament has recommended to the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission the investigation of the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) over alleged misappropriation of millions of dollars in government funds meant for the importation of wheat.
In a report following a lengthy investigation, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, water, Fisheries and Rural Development led by Justice Wadyajena said GMAZ chairman Tafadzwa Musarara had failed to adequately explain the utilisation of the $28.2 million availed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for wheat imports.
The report stated that Musarara had told the committee that GMAZ had imported wheat valued at US$26.2 million yet the RBZ had availed documents that showed that the accessed funds totalled US$28.2 million.
Further, the report said the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) wrote to the committee stating that for a period between January 2018 and May 2020, GMAZ did not import any wheat into Zimbabwe.
“After being provided with confirmation letters from ZIMRA, Mr. Tafadzwa Musarara later conceded to the committee that in actual fact, GMAZ never imported any wheat but that it was a private company that he owns in his personal capacity called Drostky Private Limited that imported the wheat instead. His previous statements which were given under oath were then revealed to be perjurious which itself is contempt of parliament.
“ZIMRA further advised the Committee that for a period between January 2018 and May 2020, Drostky imported wheat totalling US$24.2 million into the country but it must be highlighted that Mr. Tafadzwa Musarara had advised the Committee that his private entity Drostky, was in the business of importing its own wheat like other Millers and when asked to provide evidence in any form that the US$24.2 million belonged to GMAZ’s RBZ funds, he failed to provide the evidence and also failed to provide evidence of the authority by regulatory authorities to use third parties,” read part of the report.
Musarara fought tooth and nail to avoid giving oral evidence before the committee and at one time, sought, unsuccessfully, the recusal of committee chairman Wadyajena after he accused him of being biased.
In another incident, the Clerk of Parliament had to seek police assistance to get Musarara to the committee hearing after he had failed to attend previous scheduled oral evidence meetings.
The committee said the murky nature of the evidence provided by Musarara and GMAZ warranted further investigations by ZACC and the ZRP.
For example, the committee queried why Drotsky was used to transact on behalf of GMAZ.
This, the committee said, indicated a serious lack of corporate governance within the ranks of GMAZ. “It appears, Mr. Musarara might have abused his position of chair of the same to use his company without the relevant consent by all stakeholders. No resolutions were availed to prove otherwise,” the report said.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police and Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission must investigate the GMAZ transaction, and ascertain the whereabouts of the US$28.2 Million which was not accounted for by Mr Tafadzwa Musarara and GMAZ. ZACC must investigate circumstances that led to Drotsky being the vehicle used to import wheat on behalf of wheat millers and additionally, when GMAZ processed telegraphic transfers to Holbud from its own accounts with the invoices from Holburd clearly indicating GMAZ as the customer, not Drostky.”
The committee further recommended the investigation of the tax affairs of Drostky and GMAZ and also called for the institution of a lifestyle audit on Musarara.
“ZIMRA must report to the Committee within 60 days of tabling this report. The ZRP must investigate, take appropriate action where there are anomalies and issue a statement within 30 days of this directive on progress regarding the externalization of funds meant for wheat purchases by GMAZ,” the committee said.
“Parliament must (also) charge the GMAZ Chairperson for contempt in that he deliberately lied under oath to defeat the objective of the Committee’s inquiry. This is to ensure that the sacrosanct oversight role of Parliament is respected.”
New Ziana

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