Army captain in $25 000 salary scam

HARARE - A soldier, who is accused of manipulating the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) salary schedule by deducting $2 from each of his colleagues, has approached the High Court seeking to stop court martial proceedings.

John Mambewu, a captain in the ZNA and attached to the Information Technology Department, is facing three counts of fraud.

Mambewu, through his lawyer Norman Mugiya, has since approached the High Court of Zimbabwe seeking to stop court-martial proceedings. He wants the matter to be heard in the public courts. He said it would be unfair for him to be tried by the same people who claim he stole from them.

“I have approached this court so that the respondents (presiding officer, army commander and minister of Defence) are barred from proceeding before the court-martial and that I be tried by a formal court or that the respondent seek assistance from the Judicial Service Commission so that it could constitute a court which shall operate as a court-martial for purposes of this matter,” Mambewu said in his High Court application.

According to court papers, Mambewu unlawfully deducted $2 each from 6 380 ZNA members who accessed their salaries through CABS in December last year.

Mambewu is further accused of having used the name of a person he claimed to be a soldier, yet the name did not exist in the ZNA database. He allegedly used the account to deposit $12 760, before withdrawing the money.

Mambewu, who has worked for the ZNA for 36 years, allegedly used the same trick in February this year and deposited

$13 032 into his bank account, after deducting $2 each from 6 516 members. He reportedly withdrew the money and converted it to his personal use.

During the same month of February, the court heard that Mambewu also withdrew

$2 each from 5 807 ZNA members, who access their salaries through CBZ Bank.

It is further alleged that Mambewu “reinstated” one of the soldiers who had deserted the army and used his particulars to siphon $11 614.

According to state papers, Mambewu prejudiced his colleagues a total of $25 792. The offence came to light after some of the soldiers raised queries pertaining to the deductions.

Mambewu is denying the allegations and told the court he was not at work during the period the deductions took place.

“I want to state that even if I had those intentions, I wasn’t going to use my regimental number and account number. These must be acts of people with malicious intentions to damage my reputation at work and block my promotion,” Mambewu said.

Officer wants High Court to stall court martial trial


Comments (8)

Mambewu should be reasonable enough to know that he committed the crime in the Zimbabwe National Army, he is still a serving member and should be tried by the Court Martial as is the norm all over the world. He is no a ZRP member to be tried by a magistrate.Those who will deal with the matter are qualified enough to do so.The Army has got lawyers.If he is innocent he will be set free. So why cry. If found guilty Chikurubi is waiting.

SHAVA - 2 May 2014

As the late Col Pachedu Zvinavashe used to say, "Ijeri rega rega." The reasons advanced to transfer jurisdiction to a civilian court are not plausible in my view

Mafara Mafara - 3 May 2014

Civilian court is civalised you army proxies commenting on this platform. Army have got 'lawyers' and 'priests' but are they not biased.

KingZaka|| - 3 May 2014

Inga nzira dzekuba nadzo mari muZimbabwe nyika yechipikirwa hadziperi. Ho-o, ndosaka vamwe vanhu vachingogara tatata isu tichifondoka kuwana dollar chairo! Kungobaya button munhu atova ne$25 000! Vakomana! Zvakaoma hazvo!

Jimmy Jimalo - 3 May 2014

I know this guy as a loyal ZNA member, that's why he got commissioned when he was old already, going through BOC wasn't any easy choice. Let alone when the country had no resources to support training exercises like At ZMA. He is one of the guys who fought for the government when the rest were leaving ZNA for it's ZANU PF idiologies instead of protecting everyone in the country as its primary mandate. The bottom line is, the country must pay these guys, you can't use them and leave them. Even a machine like a car will fail mechanically if one fails to service it adequately. Even the Advocates in the Army, how much do they earn, ask those who left like will tell you. Mambewu mustn't be intimidated, but make it clear that it's hunger in his family that caused all this. The country must know this. Just don't talk to the media, you are a seasoned Officer, zvinodzikisira vakuru nemutemo wemasoja edu. You command respect in that section, many have come and gone but you stood with Hama ndatambura for this long, 37 years is not a joke.

ADPU - 3 May 2014

How can one fail to steall when processin big pack for high level officers yet he is gettin nothing.

Tekere - 3 May 2014

Well, the issue under discussion is complex. The Army has lawyers, etc. but the fact that it alleged that he stole from all those that access their salary from CABS and CBZ surely means the majority of members that constitute the court martial were affected. Mambeu is right he needs an independant court to try him although there seem to be overwhelming evidence that he committed the crime. He is a brave man

Ma1 - 5 May 2014

I just want to support Capt. Mambewu. Whatever happened, I hope God stands him a chance of acquittal, there is a family that this man is working so hard for. Surely 37 years is not a joke. The country's economic situation is highly tempting along these acts. What is alleged to have been embezzled by this man is truly little than what he deserves. May His mercy be unto you for you worked not only to serve your family but the nation. Whiter court martial or not, in Him you will be made a hero of his earth.

Nhamo - 5 May 2014

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