Treasury officials indicted for trial

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HARARE magistrate Tendai Mahwe yesterday indicted for trial 10 employees at the Finance ministry facing charges of swindling the government of $700 000.

BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU

The ministry’s principal accountant Brian Nyazamba’s High Court trial starts on June 15 while his nine co-accused namely Thomas Mawoyo (35), Christopher Kumisai (35), Tonderai Musekiwa (42), Felix Rimaunga (age not given), Tinashe Jakopo (46), Anthony Romeo Tafirenyika (36), Rangarirai Katsande (44), Madzudzu Mudzimba (37) and Misheck Zharu (64) will be tried on July 13 after their charges were split by the Prosecutor-General’s Office.

The suspects are currently in custody.

Harare lawyer Rekai Maposa will represent Nyazamba while the other suspects will be represented by Allen Moyo, Walter Bherebhende and Nickiel Mushangwe.

However, two of the accused Jakopo and Rimaunga yesterday requested to be represented by State-funded lawyers.

The State alleges that sometime in December 2014, the suspects manufactured fake invoices which they later submitted to the Accountant-General’s Office for payment where they were eventually paid $729 345.

According to the State papers, the employees allegedly submitted names of non-existent firms in the name of NicoOrgo (Pvt) Limited and Pioneer Hibred (Pvt) Limited through which they later sought payment for non-existent services.

The State alleges the proceeds of the swindle were deposited into BancABC accounts that had been opened by Jakopo, Tafirenyika, Katsande and Mudzimba using fake names.

The accused would then withdraw the money and share it among themselves.

The alleged scam only resurfaced on January 15 this year when the Agriculture ministry which had requested the Finance ministry to release funds to Reapers (Pvt) Limited, Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company and Windmill (Pvt) Limited, was informed there was an insufficient balance to meet the payments.

Meanwhile, Mahwe also told six other Treasury officials that their trial for swindling the ministry will commence on June 11, 2015 at the Harare Magistrates’ Court.

The six include principal director (Budgets) Kunaka Pfungwa, senior economist Varaidzo Margret Chirawhi, accountant Jacob Forgive Mlambo, deputy director external finance Stanely Zharare and acting director of finance Mary Takavarasha.

They are accused of having worked in cahoots with Nyazamba and Mawoyo together with other top government officials in a bid to swindle the government of $729 345.