HARARE – Mirirari Chiremba, the suspended Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe director of financial intelligence appeared in court on Thursday charged with criminal abuse of office.

Chiremba, of Marlborough, Harare, is accused of raising the corporate daily cash withdrawal limit for a gold dealer without following proper procedures.

He was released on $6,000 bail by Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa. He will be back in court on January 10.

Prosecuting, Zivanai Macharaga said Chiremba, “without lawful excuse” irregularly aproved an application for upward review of the daily withdrawal limit for Suzan General Trading whose account is held with the National Merchant Bank (NMB).

On October 27, 2017, and February 23, 2018, Macharaga said Suzan General Trading submitted an application to NMB asking for an upward review of their daily withdrawal limits. The first was from US$10,000 to US$30,000 per day and the second from US$30,000 to US$95,000.

The NMB referred the requests to the RBZ and secured approval to adjust the limits accordingly, the court heard.

On August 3, 2018, the court heard that the gold dealer – which receives payment for gold deliveries in US dollars from Fidelity Printers and Refiners, sought a further upward review of their daily withdrawal limit to US$195,000.

“Whilst the application was still undergoing the review process by NMB, the accused person on August 7, 2018, granted the applicant the permission to make a daily withdrawal of US$I95,000 per day despite the fact that the application had not been sent to the RBZ Financial Intelligence Unit,” the prosecutor said.

“Upon realising that the approval had been made by the accused person before NMB carried out its due process, accused was contacted by the NMB retail banking manager Simon Tembo and accused confirmed having approved upward review.”

Macharaga said Chiremba “without lawful excuse acted contrary or inconsistent to his duties as a public officer” by approving the upward review “without following the due process.”

Chiremba was one of four RBZ directors suspended over non-specific corruption allegations made by political activist Gerald Mutumanje.