Butau arrested on arrival from UK

HARARE – FUGITIVE former Guruve North Member of the House of Assembly David Butau, who skipped Zimbabwe in December 2007 when police wanted to question him on allegations of externalising foreign currency, has been arrested.

Butau was arrested at Harare International Airport on Monday night soon after his arrival from the United Kingdom where he was holed up for the past 14 months.

Police sources close to the investigations yesterday said Butau jetted into the country following reports that some people were prejudicing his business empire of millions of United States dollars.

A senior police officer in Harare said Butau was yesterday still in custody and assisting with investigations.

Butau was wanted, for among other charges, the payment of £573 000 to Michigan Tractors in November 2007.

The payments were made through two separate cheques on November 11.

The £573 000 was withdrawn from Butau’s personal account with HSBC Bank Channel Islands branch. Police suspected that the funds could have been proceeds from the under-invoicing of chrome and steel exports.

In January last year, Butau’s personal assistant, Getrude Matika, pleaded guilty to illegally dealing in foreign currency. Matika, an employee of Butau’s Dande Holdings, was convicted on her own plea of guilty to transferring $87 billion from the company’s account into various dealers’ accounts in return for foreign currency.

Facts were that between October 25 and December 19, 2007, Matika was instructed to complete Real Time Gross Settlement forms transferring money from an account held by one of Butau’s companies — Nyamasoka Farming — into various people’s accounts.

Butau signed all the RTGS forms and the money was channelled to the black market to buy foreign currency.

In October 2007, Matika was sent by Butau to Bulawayo to collect foreign currency sourced on the illegal parallel market from one Bekezela Jabwa. Matika delivered the money to Butau in Harare.

Jabwa took her to Rainbow Hotel where she was given US$12 891, R81 580 and 1 100 pula.

Matika delivered the money to Butau in Harare. The Herald