Former Finance Minister in the Government of National Unity (GNU), Tendai Biti has accused Augur Investments of fraudulently acquiring a national project status for the construction of the Airport Road, a move he said prejudiced the country of millions of dollars in unpaid stamp duty.
Biti who is seeking referral of his alleged assault case to the Constitutional Court said the company been illegally awarded the tender to construct the road.
“The letter from the ministry of finance dated April 2009 is addressed to the secretary for local governance and rural development. It says application for national project status for Augur Investment.
“Reference made to your correspondents when you recommended that Augur Investments be granted national project status and other fiscal incentives; treasury has granted Augur Investments national project status.
“The letter speaks on behalf of the treasury, in terms of section 7 of the Public Finance Management Act and in terms of the definition section of the Public Finance Management Act, the treasury is the minister of finance. As of 29th of April 2009, I was the minister of finance. I did not authorize this letter, I did not grant National Project status to Augur Investments,” Biti said
He added “This letter Your Worship is fraud, Your Worship millions of dollars was lost to the people of Zimbabwe through Augur Investments.”
Biti accused Tatiana Aleshina the complainant in the assault case of influencing higher offices to acquire national project status for the Airport Road construction and raised fears that may also influence the courts.
“Our laws are not safe, our institutions are not safe with such a person like Tatiana Aleshina,” charged Biti
He said he was Finance Minister as of 29 April 2009 and then Permanent Secretary was Willard Manungo and never gave Augur Investments the national project status