Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) finance director Simon Taranhike openly shed tears while testifying before High Court judge Amy Tsanga. According to Taranhike’s testimony, the Zinara executives were looting money from the organisation with some of the funds being used to fund the G40 Faction. He testified that former Zinara board chairperson, Albert Mugabe had assured them that they would be “untouchable” if they followed his instructions. Said Taranhike,
He then took us to South Africa where he made us signatories to an FNB Bank account and introduced us as his untouchables. When we came back, the CEO demonstrated a lot of power and she would treat her subordinates as if they were nothing. It was apparent that the two of us were being made to remove the old team.
We again went to South Africa for a board meeting to discuss the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) loan and while we were in our hotel, the chairman (Mugabe) asked us to stop carrying out the assignment we had been tasked by the Transport ministry and Cabinet, but instead to go for a shopping spree until our business days were over.
…out of the $60m per year payment that was supposed to be paid to service the $206m loan, only $20m had gone through
Taranhike’s testimony may also explain why former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, stormed police stations demanding the release of Zinara executives who had been arrested. While he was acting president sometime in June 2016, Mphoko stormed Avondale Police Station in Harare in July 2016 and ordered the release of top Zimbabwe National Road Administration officials who had been arrested by Zacc on graft allegations involving over $1,3 million.