Lecturers defraud Zimsec $115k

HARARE - Harare regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa has set a judgment date for four men accused of defrauding Zimbabwe School Examination Council (Zimsec) of $115 690 by forging documents to win a tender.

Cephas Chikwira, 39, Memory Mahaso, 45, Chenjerai Makiya, 42 and Innocent Nezungai are before the Harare Magistrates’ Court facing fraud charges.

Chikwira and Mahaso are employed by the School of Hospitality and Tourism as lecturers based at Bulawayo Polytechnic College, while Makiya is employed as a general manager at Orange Groove Motel in Chinhoyi and Nezungai is the director of School of Hospitality and Tourism.

The quartet was jointly charged with Zimsec’s training development officer Shadreck Muchena, 30.

However, Muchena walked a free man after he was discharged at the close of the State’s case.

According to State papers, the quartet misrepresented that the School of Hospitality and Tourism was one and the same with Bulawayo Polytechnic and was capable of hosting 755 participants for an examiners’ training exercise in August 2012.

Chikwira and Mahaso allegedly drafted a document, where they appended signatures purporting to be the principal and vice principal respectively of Bulawayo Polytechnic.

The documents were allegedly presented to Zimsec, which in turn engaged the School of Hospitality and Tourism for the hosting of the examiners.

It is alleged that Makiya and Nezungai went on to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the provision of catering services from Makmuz Caterers, where Makiya is a director.

According to State papers, the caterers are not under the State Procurement Board’s approved list of caterers.

The court heard that the School of Hospitality and Tourism could only accommodate 200 participants and it went on to subcontract Bulawayo Polytechnic for accommodation services, before making a transfer of

$22 310 into the learning institution’s bank account.

The group allegedly caused a prejudice of $115 690 to Zimsec, according to State papers.

Chikwira, Mahaso and Nezungai are also facing alternative charges of criminal abuse of duty as public officers and another of corruptly concealing a transaction from a principal.

The group’s lawyer Andrew Muvirimi will file closing submissions in the matter on May 9, while prosecutor Sidom Chinzete will respond on May 15.

Mupeiwa will deliver judgment on June 15.

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