The Dutch and the United States Embassies in Harare have urged the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and the Auditor General to thoroughly investigate corruption allegations levelled against the government.
This was after ZimLive, an online publication had published an article with serious allegations of government corruption regarding Zimbabwe’s COVID-19 response. The Dutch Embassy said:
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ZimLive alleged that Authorities in Hungary had opened a money-laundering investigation after Drax International, a company that was two weeks old, received a huge payment of US$2 million from Zimbabwe’s government.
It also indicated that Ilir Dedja, a 51-year-old man who was born in Albania is behind the alleged scheme to siphon money out of Zimbabwe.
The publication observed:
- Dedja travelled to Zimbabwe to meet with Mnangagwa and his Zimbabwe partner, Delish Nguwaya.
- Spent years as a meat trader in Italy, acquires citizenship, own several companies which later shut shop.
- Dedja is the only shareholder in two Swiss companies – Drax Consult SAGL and 3-DD Swiss Trading.
- Drax Consult SAGL is registered in Lugano on March 2017 does little trading within Switzerland.
- Dedja opened two bank accounts for Drax Consult SAGL with MagNet Bank in Budapest on December 6, 2019, a United States dollar account and a local currency one.
- He registered the Hungary branch for Drax Consult SAGL on February 20, 2020, stating the company carries out activities including “business consulting, marketing, advertising and business management consulting for foreign companies trading in medical and cosmetic products.”
- March 5, the new company’s bank account is credited with US$2 million, made as deposits of US$1 million each. The payments were a 10 percent deposit on a consignment of drugs and medical supplies on a contract worth US$20-million for the National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm).
- Natpharm through the country’s Treasury pays the remaining US$18 million in subsequent deposits of US$1.5 million every month, finance ministry permanent secretary, George Guvamatanga signs the documents authorising the procurement.
- Officials immediately flag the huge transactions into the account as suspicious before calling in Interpol which has now launched a money-laundering enquiry in conjunction with authorities in Hungary and Zimbabwe.