60 ghost village heads gets salaries at Chikomba
CHIVHU BUREAU CHIEF
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