ZACC, police clash over high profile fraud case

HARARE – The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) have clashed over a high-profile corruption case involving prominent Harare businessman Ofer Sivan.

Smart Marlon Mandofa, a ZACC officer who was investigating Sivan’s case of defrauding former business partners – Gilad Shabtai and Munyaradzi Gonyora – of US$762,000 and ZWL$22 million, was arrested by police on Friday on suspicion of colluding with Shabtai.

According to the police, Mandofa was associated with Shabtai, who was wanted for fraud and tax evasion at the time Sivan made allegations against him.

The allegations have since been dropped, with acting Prosecutor General Nelson Mutsonziwa confirming in a letter that there was nomore pending case against Shabtai.

“These allegations are clearly hogwash. There is no clarity as to how and when I associated with Gilad Shabtai at the time.

“If a person is on an alleged outstanding warrant of arrest which is not placed or served upon me, should I refuse to investigate a matter which is allocated to me.

“Does this mean that where the facts disclose an offence, I should not arrest a suspect and take them to court.

“Isn’t it correct that the complainant was supposed to challenge his placement on remand in the first place not to arrest a mere police officer like me,” said Mandofa through his lawyers.

According to inside sources, the arrest of Mandofa by police was intended to interfere with an ongoing investigation, which is scheduled for trial on March 28.

This has also been interpreted by some inside sources as an attempt by Sivan to avoid prosecution, as the police have targeted all of the investigating officers who could testify in his fraud case.

According to inside sources, ZACC’s attempts to engage the police in the matter have so far been futile.

Mandofa, through his legal representatives, described the allegations against him as trumped-up charges orchestrated by Sivan.

“I deny the charges in their entirety. This is a ploy by Ofer Sivan to interfere with State witnesses and investigations into his fraud matters that have already been charged.

“I never abused my duty as a public officer in the manner alleged or at all.

“I am shocked that I am alleged to have unlawfully associated with a complainant who was on a warrant of arrest.

“For the record there should be evidence that I was served with the alleged warrant of arrest and that I associated with the alleged complainant. There is no clarity as to how I allegedly associated with him. There is need for evidence which proves the alleged association,” said Mandofa.

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