The central figure in a fraud case involving more than US$20m siphoned from Zimbabwe’s ministry of defence died a day before he was due in court.

Peter Muchakazi, 56, an army procurement officer, according to sources, died just a few hours after complaining of chest pains. Ministry of defence secretary Mark Grey Marongwe confirmed Muchakazi’s death to TimesLIVE.

“The family of the deceased will be in a better position to comment about how he died,” he said.

Muchakazi was suspected to be the ringleader of a well-orchestrated con whereby fake invoices were raised for services allegedly rendered to the ministry. The fraud wrap faced by Muchakazi, his co-accused Jonathan Tandangu, Dhuvai Muzenda and Maria Fungisai Chiurira in December last year drew the attention of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) as some army commanders were also investigated for being part of the rot.

Read more