BAT manager up for $17 000 fraud

BULAWAYO - Simba Chiriya, 36,  a former regional manager with the British American Tobacco Zimbabwe (BAT) and Mandizvidza Biza, a marketing representative have been hauled before the courts on allegations of stealing $17 000 from the company.

The two appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Gladmore Mushove on theft charges. They were not asked to plead and were remanded out of custody on $400 bail each.

They will report back to court on January 2 next year.

BAT is represented by its security manager Green Nkadzalema.

Magistrate Mushove heard how during  on different occasions between 2009 and 2013, the two allegedly decided to prejudice their employer of thousands of dollars.

According to the State, Chiriya’s duty was to distribute and sell cigarettes, implement marketing initiatives and manage depot to depot expenses while Biza was the second in charge tasked with supervising the distributing cigarettes to representatives.

It is alleged that the two would take cash from distribution representatives meant to be surrendered to the depot clerk for banking without a paper trail and convert it to their own use.

The anomaly was discovered when the organisation carried out an internal audit which showed a total of $17 982 had been stolen.

However, the company recovered its money through the benefits of the two accused persons.

In another case, Chiriya and Robson Ngulube, 56, a former Bulawayo BAT depot clerk appeared before magistrate Mushove facing fraud charges.

They were not asked to plead and were remanded out of custody on $200 bail each.

They will return to court on January 2 next year.

The State alleges that during the period extending from 2009 to 2013 on several occasions the two claimed daily allowances of distribution representatives on weekly expense returns sheets which were signed and authorised by Chiriya.

As per company policy, allowances were approved at head office in Harare where Chiriya would be issued with all authorisation letter to withdraw money from the company bank account.

After withdrawing cash from the bank, Chiriya was supposed to surrender the money to Ngulube for him to pay distribution representatives.

Instead, he would order him to forge signatures of the representatives and share the loot.

The audit revealed that BAT had been prejudiced of $7 000 and the money was recovered from the benefits of the accused.

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