A TREK Agriculture Petroleum employee has been taken to court for allegedly fleecing his employer of over $42 000 worth of diesel earmarked for use at the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda)’s Ngwizi Farm in Mangwe district, Matabeleland North province.
BY SILAS NKALA
Danisiwe Mteka last week denied the fraud charge when he appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Franklin Mkhwananzi.
The State alleges that sometime last year, Mteka sold the diesel and later misrepresented that the diesel had been diverted to Crown Africa Logistics, a company contracted by Trek to transport farm produce to the market.
It is the State’s case that by means of the misrepresentation Trek Petroleum suffered an actual prejudice of $42 829,07.
Mteka denied the charge through his lawyer Albert Ndlovu, claiming he had acted in accordance with directives from Crown Africa Logistics director Ngoni Chinogaramombe.
“Accused will challenge the issue of purchase orders or authorisation and state that if the transaction in question were not authorised and did not have purchase orders which are central to this case how was Trek able to enter the transactions into their accounting system and reconcile their books for the four months in which the fraud could have happened,” Mteka’s defence outline read.
But Chinogaramombe, in a statement filed as a court record, said: “It is during my visits to Trek Petroleum that the accused got to know and offered to assist me by identifying customers who would require large quantities of diesel and I accepted and on condition that he would be given official purchase orders from our company.
“I proceeded to give him the official purchase orders from our company which we were paid for by customers in various forms, (EcoCash, cash or bank transfer). During
the last week of November 2017, I was advised by Trek administration that my company could not draw diesel anymore because my account was in debt. I got concerned because my record showed that our account was still in credit.”
Chinogaramombe said he advised the Trek Petroleum accountant on December 2017 that there were entries in October and November 2017 that were not authorised by their company.
“During the month of February 2018, I requested for our company statement for December 2017 and January 2018 and I went through the statement I found that the unauthorised withdrawals of fuel were still continuing from the same filling station. From the reconciliation exercise, it was confirmed that the entries which we had indicated as being unauthorised were indeed unauthorised. I then discovered from the slip presented that the accused person was the one who had been withdrawing fuel using my company name.”
Bulawayo and Gweru Trek Petroleum manager, Thomas Dreyer in a statement said he instructed the Trek Fort Street supervisors of development through WhatsApp.
“I would suspect that the accused took advantage of my not being always available and his shift system to draw fuel without authority and sell it to individuals without being noticed,” he said.
The matter will be back in court June 19 while the company representative Makhos’onke Nkiwane was issued with warrant of arrest last week for absconding court.