ZIMBABWE Open University (ZOU)’s former finance director, Perpetual Joy Ndekwere, was last week slapped with a 15-month jail term for swindling her employer of $6 000 through double dipping.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
Ndekwere, however, had her sentence wholly suspended by provincial magistrate Elijah Makomo, on condition that she does not, within the next five years, commit a similar offence. She was further ordered to pay restitution in the sum of $6 000 to her former employer.
Ndekwere (52) is said to have made a double claim of the $6 000 which she had paid to the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE) in subscriptions on behalf of ZOU from her own coffers.
ZOU Vice-Chancellor Professor Primrose Kurasha testified in the matter and told the court that she did not report Ndekwere to the police, but instead reported the matter of the missing cash to the law enforcement agents and requested them to investigate the case.
Kurasha said this was done after ZOU carried out an internal audit following an anonymous letter that had been forwarded to the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education which accused her office, the finance director and the registrar of maladministration and of being involved in the scam.
The court heard after receiving the anonymous letter, ZOU instructed investigations to be carried out since the issue of double claims by Ndekwere’s office had been raised.
Evidence was also led from former ZOU finance manager Kingstone Manyonganise, who told the court that Ndekwere claimed the said refund twice.
Manyonganise said as the finance manager, he was asked by Ndekwere to prepare her a refund of the cash she had paid to ZIMCHE after presenting receipts to him.
The court further heard that after receiving the initial refund in January 2011, Ndekwere, through her personal assistant Sithokozile Mangena, made another request for refund in March claiming she had used the initial refund for ZOU’s business again.
This time, it was said, Ndekwere did not inform Manyonganise of her request, but used Mangena who then signed for the cash from the cashier after a cash handover form was generated instead of the usual requisition which was supposed to be accompanied by receipts or invoices.
George Manokore represented the State.