tendai biti finance minister 2 29-08-10.jpgFinance Minister, Mr Tendai Biti and Zimbabwe Ambassador to Germany, Mr Habson Mukuvise have come under the spotlight as documents in possession of ZBC News cited them as the chief culprits in the case in which Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is embroiled in the double dipping scandal. 

Latest documents, which ZBC News has in its possession, show that Minister Biti held a number of meetings with Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) top officials and the Prime Minister over the purchase of the Mr Tsvangirai’s official residence.

As reflected in minutes of the meetings and several letters of the discussions on the urgent need to release funds to purchase the Prime Minister’s official house in 2009, Minister Biti wrote to RBZ Governor advising that he had concurred with Prime Minister that RBZ can release US$1,5 million for the Premier’s official residence.

According to the letter written by Mr Biti to Dr Gono, the US$1.5 million was released but on condition that the Finance Minister will pay RBZ the same amount.

But surprisingly, Mr Biti proceeded to release another US$1,5 million to buy the same house that RBZ had paid for, thus raising eyebrows as the Finance Minister was supposed to pay back RBZ its dues.

Another document shows that Dr Gono wrote in this letter directing the transfer of US$1,5 million into Tony West Real Estate’s account at ZB Bank without going to tender. 

Asked to comment, Minister Biti, who is outside the country, admitted to ZBC News that he gave an assurance to Dr Gono that treasury will pay back but it is unfortunate that the RBZ Governor did not give a feedback on whether he released the money or not.

Biti said he will clarify the issue on Monday.

In separate documents obtained by ZBC News, Arthstone and Cook allegedly connived with Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Germany, Mr Makuvise to use the legal firm’s account to stash US$1,250 million which was fraudulently deducted from the US$1,5 million released by RBZ for the Prime Minister’s house.

In another development, Mr Makuvise wrote six letters instructing Interfin Bank to transfer US$120 000 in batches of US$10 000 and US$20 000 to buy his personal stand in Shawasha Hills.

Speaking from Germany, the Ambassador scoffed at reports and documents implicating him in the scandal, saying they are just petty issues which he cannot discuss.

However, the last transaction history obtained by ZBC News shows that out of the US$1,5 million released by the RBZ, only US$570 000 was left in the account by July last year and how the bulk of the cash was used remains a mystery.