Plumtree DMO arrested for fraudulently selling Covid PCR certificates

A District Medical Officer at Plumtree, Dr Joe Nganunu, and three of his colleagues have been arrested for criminal abuse of duty after they pocketed money from Covid-19 PCR tests, without receipting payment of the certificates as per procedure.

 

The prescribed fee for each Covid-19 PCR test certificate is US$30 or equivalent.

In a police memorandum, Dr Nganunu (29) was arrested Thursday on January 6, together with Wellington Nyachiwonjeka (33), Mthabisi Anele Bhebhe (30) and Garai Shava (29) for criminal abuse of duty as public officers, as defined in Section 174 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.

The accused are all resident at Plumtree District Hospital, working at the same institution.

After the four were arrested, the prosecution recommended that a financial audit be carried out at the district hospital to ascertain the state of the hospital’s books.

According to the police memo, on January 5, 2022, Julia Ndlovu (45) of 857 Mathendele, Plumtree, Clement Ndlovu (61) of Mzwanyana village Ngwana Plumtree, Busi Tshuma  (36) of 11777 Nkulumane Bulawayo, Tendai Mago (38) of 1054 Estlea Zvishavane, Vundla Nontokozo (44) and Mabhayi Qinisela (52) both from Mzwanyana village, Ngwana area Plumtree approached Plumtree District Hospital for Covid-19 PCR test certificates.

They paid different amounts of cash ranging between R400, US$30, P300 as fee for the PCR test, however they were not issued with receipts as proof of payment and they were tested.

Accused 1- Nyachiwonjeka – issued Covid 19 PCR test certificates to each individual without a payment receipt having been produced against procedure which required him to check or ascertain whether payment had been done.

On the same day, Vivian Tebogo Mondo (46) of Likani Store Tshitshi business centre Plumtree, Ditto Mpofu (52) and Khumbulani Mpofu (49) both from Mzila village Tshitshi, Plumtree, Erick Mathole (39) of 10 Isiphingo street Bellevue East Johannesburg South Africa approached Plumtree District Hospital for Covid 19 PCR test certificates.

They paid different amounts of cash ranging between R400, US$30, P300, as fee for the PCR test, however they were not issued with receipts as proof of payment and they were tested.

Accused 2 – Nganunu- issued Covid 19 PCR test certificates to each individual without a payment receipt having been produced against procedure which required him to check or ascertain whether payment had been done.

On the same day, Tabulani Austin Dlamini (54) of Sanzukwe village Tshitshi Plumtree, Khanyisani Dube (38) and Earnest Maluleke (57) both from Matshongwana village Tshitshi Plumtree approached Plumtree District Hospital for Covid 19 PCR test certificates.

They paid different amounts of cash ranging between R400, US$30, and P300 as fee for the PCR test, however they were not issued with receipts as proof of payment and they were tested.

Accused 3 -Bhebhe – issued Covid 19 PCR test certificates to each individual without a payment receipt having been produced against procedure which required him to check or ascertain whether payment had been done.

On the same day, Livingstone Munoti (54) of Chatikobo village Buhera and Chrispen Pirukai of W709 Amaveni Kwekwe approached Plumtree District Hospital for Covid-19 PCR test certificates.

They paid different amounts of P300 and US$30 as fee for the PCR test, however they were not issued with receipts as proof of payment and they were tested.

Accused 4 -Shava –  issued Covid 19 PCR test certificates to each individual without a payment receipt having been produced against procedure which required him to check or ascertain whether payment had been done.

On January 6, 2022, the above individuals were intercepted at Plumtree border post and produced the Covid 19 PCR test certificates issued by the accused persons.

All the individuals indicated they had not been issued with receipts as proof of payment at Plumtree District Hospital leading to the arrest of the accused persons on the same day.

The accused persons together with witnesses were taken to Plumtree Magistrate’s court for set down where district Public prosecutor, Robin Mukura, interviewed both accused persons, witnesses.

He decided the matter would proceed by way of summons to allow further investigations to be carried out.

The Covid-19 PCR test certificates were recovered and it is recommended that a financial audit be carried out at Plumtree District hospital.

The case was recorded under CID Plumtree D.R 10-13/01/22 and ZRP Plumtree C.R 27-30/01/22.

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