FBC Bank (LTD) is in the eye of a bribery storm, following revelations that the bank attempted to give an inducement to a High Court judge to influence the ruling of a matter in which they were facing a lawsuit from a client.
ZimMorningpPost reports that the bank appeared in court on March 30 2021, and an emissary tried to bribe Justice Esther Muremba with a gift bag whose contents could not be immediately ascertained. A source to the publication said:
_Apparently FBC sent the judge a gift back on March 29, a day before she was set to hand down judgement on the matter in which FBC was dragged in._
_She said she was prepared to hand down judgment in Motion Court before she then received the gift bag._
_She walked in court and asked Mr Muchada who represented FBC to explain this ‘gesture.’_
_Muchada sought instructions from his client (FBC) and was told that it was an annual gift they give to all judges as Christmas gifts, Muremba fumed and asked them to take their gift back immediately and she also questioned the logic of receiving a Christmas gift in March._
ZimMorningPost further reports that enquiries at the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) established that Muremba was the only judge out of 30 High Court judges that received the Christmas ‘gift’ in March.
Reports suggest that a Harare lawyer Nigel Sithole filed an urgent chamber application to have his three digital platforms (Mobile Moola, USSD *220# and Noku) with FBC suspended after a stranger manipulated one of the platforms using his name and went on to dupe people in a rent to buy car scheme.
Sithole confirmed the FBC Bank bribery incident and praised Justice Muremba for upholding ethics and transparency. He added:
_I was quite perturbed by the conduct of the bank and wonder what it is exactly was meant to be achieved by handing over this gift. Institutionally, this raises a lot of questions about the types of decisions made at the management level of FBC._
FBC Holdings group chief executive John Mushayavanhu said he was not competent to comment on matters dealt with at court adding that the matter was concluded.
In 2017, there were allegations that FBC Holdings (FBCH) was also sucked in another fraud storm involving a disputed US$3.4 million.