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60 ghost village heads gets salaries at Chikomba


CHIKOMBA –In what could be a tip of the iceberg of corruption in
many  public  offices,  three  senior clerks  at  Chikomba  District Administrator's (DA) office in Chivhu have appeared  in  court  for  allegedly  raising  salary  requisitions  for  60  ghost village  heads  (sabhuku)  and  signing for the money from 2010 to 2015.
The  alleged  scam  was  unearthed during an audit carried out by a team
from the provincial office in Marondera.
The State says at least $ 8 195 has so far been established to have been
stolen.Monica Mutsimba (32) who is employed as an Admin Officer, Michael
Ngiza  (48)  an  Accounting  officer and  Douglas  Karuru  (47)  an Admin
Assistant  appeared  before  Resident Magistrate  Story  Rushambwa  at  the
Chivhu  Magistrate  Courts  on  Monday facing fraud charges.
The  three,  Miutsimba  represented by Tatenda Kabara, Nsingo Tafara of Nsingo and Partners representing Ngiza and Karuru who had no legal representative
pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Chikomba DA Clemence Masawi who is a State witness in the case said
he raised alarm at one time when he saw the inconsistencies in the signatures of village heads who were signing for the money and he was told that the signatures changed because the payees were old.
The Court also heard that the signatures changed because the Village
heads sometimes signed when they were drunk.
It was also alleged that the names of the ghost payees were wiped from
the computer once the accused realized that the audit had picked the fraud.
It is the State case that during the period extending from July 2010 to
March 2015, the accused persons connived and hatched a plan to steal
from the State.
They misrepresented to the complainant, Masawi who was the DA
that 60 village heads are existent and entitled to monthly allowances well
knowing that they are deceased and nonexistent. They then allegedly
signed for their monthly allowances which they converted to their own use.
The case was unearthed during an audit and the matter was reported
to the Police. Trial will continue on March 27 2017. Ngiza had since been
stopped from going to work.George Mukototsi prosecuted. top story news

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Masvingo Mirror is a provincial paper for Masvingo, Zimbabwe.
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