Court Watch

Policemen on bribery and drug charges

GWERU – Two Shurugwi-based police officers have been arraigned before the Gweru magistrates court on charges of receiving bribes and using confiscated drugs.

Progress Bozvori and Collen Manyawi pleaded not guilty when they appeared before magistrate Mildred Mutuvi. If the pair is found guilty, they could face up to two years in jail.

The officers were manning a tollgate along the Gweru-Shurugwi road last month when they stopped a passerby, Christopher Takaruza, and proceeded to search him. They found and confiscated some marijuana which Takaruza admitted to buying from, Edrin Mambara, a saleslady employed at Flamingo Inn bar. The police officers then took a bribe of $23 from Takaruza.

A visit to Flamingo Inn saw the two policemen conducting a search of the bar’s storeroom where they found and confiscated more marijuana. Mambara gave the men $100 in order to avoid arrest.

CID detectives received information about the alleged conduct of the police officers that led to their arrest. – Brenna Matendere

NRZ motorbikes recovered

GWERU – Police have arrested three suspects believed to be behind the theft of tens of National Railways of Zimbabwe motorcycles.

Thirty-three bikes were stolen from wagons along the Gweru-Kwekwe railway line. A report was made to police and investigations led to the recovery of three of the cycles from Simbarashe Chimimo, 35, who had taken them to a cycle repairer in the city centre.

The incident led to the recovery of 30 bikes from Pasca Mazuva Chigama of Mkoba 13, Gweru. The three suspects, Yonna Tsapatsika, 22, Almet Shumba, 21, and Charles Rushshwaya, 56, of Mkoba High Density suburb have been arrested and are expected to appear before the courts soon. – Brenna Matendere

Law officer freed

HARARE – A law officer who was facing fraud charges was freed together with her two alleged accomplices after a Harare magistrate ruled that the State had failed to try them within a reasonable time.

Karen Bopoto, 27, a lawyer attached to the Ministry of Justice’s Legal Aid Directorate, was jointly charged with businessman Julius Bhakira and his brother, Shine, 26.

Harare Magistrate, Anita Tshuma, removed the trio from remand after the State dragged its heels to establish a trial date.

Prosecutor Ellen Mokora alleged that some time in 2009, Christopher Mwerenga, who is based in South Africa and owns a house in Gunhill, ordered his brother-in-law, Farai Sithole, to rent out the property.

Sithole entered into a lease agreement with Julius on the condition he would be depositing $1,800 as monthly rentals into Mwerenga’s bank account.

It was alleged Julius went on to sublet the house to Sydney Hall after claiming to be the owner.

He further said he had managed to pay $280,000 and had an outstanding balance of $100,000. Hall, the court heard, was given an offer by Julius to pay the $100,000 balance so that he would be incorporated into joint ownership of the house.

On 31 March, Hall was served with the eviction order and a neighbour’s gardener got wind of the story and phoned Mwerenga in South Africa, who then sent his wife to investigate the matter. – Talent Bhachi

School loses $14 000

SHURUGWI – A local high school recently had property worth over $14 000 stolen. Two men have been arrested in connection with the case.

The police said Prosper Shizhika and Moses Kosa are alleged to have unlawfully entered Pakame High School premises. They stole school uniforms, books and groceries to the value of $14 300.

The pair’s luck ran out when members of the public tipped the police off that the men were selling the stolen goods. – Brenna Matendere

Bursar gets 29 years for fraud

Bindura University of Science Education Deputy Bursar, Farai Madawo, was this week sentenced to 29 years in prison for fraud.

Madawo was convicted of 13 counts of fraud involving $189,654. He siphoned the money from the university’s Standard Chartered and CBZ bank accounts and forged cash requisitions and purchase orders.

Though Madawo denied the charges, the magistrate William Bhila convicted him after overwhelming evidence. 10 years of the sentence were suspended on the condition that Madawo does not commit a similar offence in the next five years.

Another 10 years was suspended on condition he repays the university. He can still go to jail for 19 years if he fails to repay the $189,654.

Prosecutor Munyaradzi Mataranyika, assisted by Nysha Chengeta of the Attorney-General’s Office, proved that Madawo, who joined the university in January 2011, stole the money in just under a year of employment.

He would prepare fictitious cash requisitions and purchase orders that he used to dupe the Assistant Registrar, Stenly Chitera, one of the official university signatories.

Dumisani Mthombeni of Venturas and Samkange Legal Practitioners represented the university.

Victor Zvobgo of Ngarava, Moyo and Chikono represented Madawo.

It is alleged Madawo, having obtained the necessary signatures, would proceed to the banks where he would withdraw money, which was never remitted to the university cash office.

It is the state’ case that Madawo prepared fictitious purchase orders pretending to buy various goods for the university in November 2011, which he misrepresented as genuine vouchers to obtain Assistant Registrar Chitera’s signature.

He proceeded to withdraw money from the institution’s Standard Chartered Bank’s account. He withdrew $56,640 using this method and converted it to personal use.

The matter came to light when Rogders Murehwa, the Administrative Assistant in the bursar’s department, discovered that money transfers and withdrawals effected by Madawo had not been initiated by the university and that the institution had not received goods purported to have been bought for it by Madawo.

An investigating audit team in March this year established that Madawo had defrauded the university on several occasions. Armed with the audit report, a report was made, leading to Madawo’s arrest. – Talent Bhachi

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *