Red Cross boss up for vehicle fraud

BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA

ZIMBABWE Red Cross Society (ZRCS) secretary-general Maxwell Phiri (54) was arraigned at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts on Monday after he allegedly connived with top bosses to defraud the society of three motor vehicles worth US$19 500.

The State alleges that in 2015, ZRCS was granted authority by its governing board to dispose 10 vehicles through a restrictive tender process and first preference to purchase was given to members of the national governing council of the society.

On count one, Phiri (54) allegedly connived with Edson Mlambo, the president of the governing board of the society to misrepresent that he had purchased a Toyota Prado vehicle valued at
US$8 000 which was among the vehicles to be disposed of.

Mlambo misrepresented to ZRCS that he intended to purchase the vehicle by participating in the bidding process. He offered the highest bid.

Phiri, then allegedly instructed Geshum Hombarume, then attached at the human resources and administration department, to prepare a sale contract between the ZRCS and Mlambo for the vehicle.

Phiri signed the agreement of sale.

He allegedly instructed the then human resources director, Elias Hwenga, to hand over the vehicle to Mlambo when he had not paid for it.

On another occasion, Mlambo again allegedly misrepresented that he was the highest bidder for a Mitsubishi Canter vehicle valued at US$7 000 and Phiri approved the deal despite that the vehicle had not been paid
for.

On the third count, under similar circumstances, Phiri allegedly authorised Vutete Mazorodze Hapanyengwe, ZRCS Midlands provincial chairperson to assume ownership of the society’s Nissan vehicle valued at US$4 500 without paying for it.

Phiri, who was represented by lawyer Admire Rubaya, was granted $10 000 bail by magistrate Stanford Mambanje.

Netsai Mushayabasa appeared for the State.

Mlambo and Hapanyengwe have since appeared in court on the same fraud charges.

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