Anglican bishop in US$700 000 fraud

BY KENNETH NYANGANI

ANGLICAN Diocese of Manicaland leader Bishop Eric Ruwona has been arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) on fraud charges after he allegedly secured loans worth US$700 000 for personal use using church property as collateral security.

Ruwona yesterday appeared before Mutare magistrate Tendai Mahwe and was remanded to January 29 on $15 000 bail.

It is the State’s case that Ruwona and his three alleged accomplices, who are still at large, hatched a plan to defraud Anglican Diocese of Manicaland of thousands of dollars.

On February 26, 2016, they allegedly fraudulently applied for a US$100 000 loan from Agribank, claiming the money was for construction of St Catherine’s Girl High School in Rusape and the purchase of a vehicle for the bishop.

They offered church land situated at stand number 78 Mutare Township as collateral security without the knowledge of the standing committee and congregants.

As a result of the misrepresentation, the loan was approved and the accused received the proceeds.

During the same month, they allegedly secured another loan of US$350 000 from Agribank using the same modus operandi.

Sometime in 2017, the accomplices fraudulently applied for a bank overdraft of US$250 000 from Agribank also without the knowledge of the standing committee and the congregants.
The accused persons’ conduct caused an actual prejudice of US$700 000.

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