The trial of three Tsholotsho Rural District (RDC) officials implicated in a $37 000 fraud emanating from the purchase of two vehicles meant for the Community Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (Campfire) is set to kick off on July 26.
The trial date was announced last Thursday after the trio appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Gideon Ruvetsa on routine remand.
The trio, Jericho Moyo, Martin Ndlovu and Sami Muleya, the RDC’s Campfire manager, finance officer and chief executive officer respectively, were not asked to plead to the fraud charge.
The trio initially appeared before Tsholotsho senior resident magistrate Toindepi Zhou before the matter was transferred to the provincial court in Bulawayo, because of the value involved.
On January 19 last year, Moyo allegedly connived with Ndlovu, the RDC’s finance officer and Muleya, the chief executive officer, to allegedly of swindle the local authority of cash during the purchase of two motor vehicles for Campfire projects.
They allegedly sourced the vehicles, Toyota Landcruiser models, without following laid-down council procedures and allegedly inflated purchase prices in the process.
The court heard they allegedly claimed the vehicles had cost $26 000 and $30 000, respectively.
But, it later emerged the actual purchase prices of the vehicles were $8 000 and $11 000, respectively. The matter later came to light after an audit, leading to the trio’s arrest.