Nurse aide gets 12 months for fraud

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A nurse aide at Mpilo Central Hospital was Wednesday sentenced to 12 months in prison for collecting $140 from four people after promising them employment as general hands at the health institution.

Jesneth Mpofu (58) was convicted on her own plea of guilty to fraud when she appeared before Bulawayo magistrate, Sophie Matimba.

Three months of her sentence were conditionally suspended for five years. The remaining nine months were suspended on condition she completes 315 hours of community service at Emgwanwini Secondary School.

Prosecutor Robin Mukura told the court sometime in February, Loveness Zhou and Precious Bvumba were seeking employment and met a woman only identified as Chimhani who referred them to Mpofu.

The pair approached Mpofu at Mpilo Central Hospital and she agreed to help them get employment if they paid $30 each which she said was registration fees. They paid the amount and were advised to report for duty on April 1, which happens to be a Fools’ Day.

Sometime in March, Nancy Mutavayi and Gertrude Mambeu were also referred to Mpofu who made them pay $40 each and advised them to start work on the same date as Zhou and Bvumba.

However, at the end of March, the four met at Mpilo where they wanted to confirm whether they could report for duty on the agreed date.

Mpofu advised that they should undergo pregnancy tests first and facilitated the process before she advised them to come back on April 4.

On the day, she advised them to undergo X-rays and report back on April 11.

However, when they returned they were told that the person who was dealing with their files, a Maphosa was not on duty.

The complainants later met Maphosa but were taken aback after he advised them that he did not know anything about the matter and told them to report to the police, leading to Mpofu’s arrest.