HARARE – Financial executive and farmer Hashmon Matemera — accused of externalising $300 million — was yesterday removed from remand after the State kept requesting for more time to institute extra-territorial investigations.
The ex-BancABC managing director appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa who ordered the State to proceed by way of summons.
Having been charged for allegedly conniving with Jinan Mining (Jinan) — a Marange Resources and Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Company (Afecc) joint venture — to open accounts, which were used to siphon the money, Matemera was placed on an unprecedented $10 000 bail and $250 000 property surety.
However, as the state continuously struggled to proffer any meaningful explanations on its so-called external checks, legal experts also queried how the former banker could successfully be charged or prosecuted for conniving to open an account — some time last year — that had been running 16 months prior.
According to the State’s papers, Matemera had “irregularly facilitated” the Jinan transitory account with BancABC in January 2012 and where a whopping $630 million was deposited by the Chinese investors.
In those transactions, the ex-central banker was working with three client representatives named as Bai Xiangqian, Qingde Jiang and Bei Bei Ma, and who later requested the transfer of nearly $333 million to Botswana, hence the need for an extra-territorial probe about the use and destination for the cash.
According to the State’s further allegations, millions more were squirrelled or moved to China, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dubai, Siera Leone and Zambia, and what compounded Zimbabwe’s suspicions was that Jinan was not registered in Gaborone.