A BURSAR at Allan Wilson High School and his assistant have been sentenced to 15 years in prison after they were convicted of stealing over $20 000 from the school coffers.
The bursar, Tonderai Nyabereka, was jointly convicted with his assistant, Patience Berejena, who however fled before Harare magistrate Mirriam Banda delivered judgment and sentence.
The magistrate suspended five years of the sentence on condition of good behaviour and another five years on condition that Nyabereka and Berejena pay $20 830 restitution.
For the State, Constance Ngombengombe told the court that on May 23 this year, the school headmaster discovered discrepancies when he was going through the school’s financial records.
He discovered that after school fees would have been paid in cash, Nyabereka and Berejena would receipt in the direct deposit books instead of cash subsidiary books, creating an impression that the school fees was deposited into the school’s bank account.
Authorities from the School Development Association (SDA) were advised of the fraud and decided to carry out an investigations during which they checked the school’s financial records from as far back as October last year.
It was during the check that it emerged Nyabereka and Berejena receipted cash in the direct deposit books which were used to receipt fees that would have been paid through bank deposits.
Schoolchildren who were interviewed as part of the investigations told the authorities that they had paid their fees in cash.
This raised suspicion that Nyabereka and Berejena were misappropriating funds. The SDA demanded an audit of the financial books and it was discovered that $20 830 was missing.
Nyabereka and Berejena failed to account for the money and a police report was filed, leading to their arrest.