Suspended RBZ bosses give back assets

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The suspended officials are Mirirai Chiremba, Norman Mataruka, Gresham Muradzikwa and Azvinandawa Saburi.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has upgraded the RTGS platform to include the United States dollar to facilitate settlement of Nostro FCA transactions.

Harare – Suspended Reserve bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) senior managers surrendered the central bank assets such as vehicles, laptops and access cards as the investigation into the alleged corruption activities commence, the Mail and Telegraph has heard.

The four officials, Azvinandawa Saburi, Mirirai Chiremba, Norman Mataruka and Gresham Muradzikwa, were suspended indefinitely on Monday by Governor John Mangudya pending an investigation into allegations of corruption.

Inside sources also said the four senior had roles in the clandestine foreign exchange deals and controlled the exchange rate.

Insiders said Chiremba, as RBZ’s Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit is aware of the cash barons operating in Zimbabwe, after his unit’s investigations revealed that politicians, gold miners and wholesalers had been pushing large sums of bond notes on the market, effectively draining the supply of US dollars.

Sources also said Chiremba’s unit has officers on the ground such that it is easy for him to know the cash barons who are running the illegal forex exchange in the streets.

“He knows everything but the only problem is that he was being bribed to ignore the ongoing forex dealings in the streets,” said the source.

“His unit also monitors all online and mobile transactions but surprisingly no reports were being made each time he noticed these huge transactions.”

Investigations also revealed that Azvinandawa Saburi as the Director Financial Markets whose responsibility is to allocate foreign currency to the banks, was being incentivised by companies so that he allocates, through their respective banks, the much needed foreign currency.

“A client or company would apply for the foreign currency through their respective banks. The same clients or companies would clandestinely meet and bribe Saburi so that when applications are made to the Central bank  he would prioritise those applicants he would have met,” the source said.

“It was an intricate web of corruption that has been going on,” said the source adding: “Saburi would allegedly allocate foreign currency to ‘his personal friends’ resulting in a selected few amassing large sums of US dollars, especially if they had accounts in multiple banks.”

Sources said Norman Mataruka who is the Registrar of Banks as well as being the  chairman at Aurex Holdings Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the RBZ, is an influential businessman who runs multiple business ventures.

“Mataruka, as the registrar of banks, received favours from all the banks. Every bank requires favours from the regulator who may charge them or at worst shut them down. Banks have been treating him as their master,” the source said.

In a Facebook Live video on Sunday evening, Acie Lumumba accused Mataruka of abusing his position at Aurex.

“He sits on the board of Aurex (State gold buyer) which buys and processes gold. This gold is processed into rings and other items which they then export,” he said. Another suspended manager, Gresham Muradzikwa, is the RBZ Head of Security, who Lumumba described as having “more money in his bank account than all of his bosses.”

In Lumumba’s video he claimed the jewellery company was used  for money laundering  through purchasing of gold and its exportation.

Sources said Muradzikwa acted like a middleman for Saburi in all the deals.

“Since the introduction of the bond notes Murazikwa is the only one who has been going to Serbia ( up to three to four times a month) where the notes are printed. He allegedly acted as a facilitator for Saburi, introducing the director to business men in need of forex.”

In Lumumba’s video he also claimed all four were part of a “cartel” headed by an unnamed “Queen Bee” which had been largely responsible for the booming forex black market that had resulted in shortages of basic commodities across the country.