Official up for taking Mugabe scholarship bribe

HARARE - A senior executive assistant in the Presidential Scholarship Department has appeared in court charged with demanding bribes from applicants.

Tafadzwa Mafuwu, 35, of Mabelreign, who reports to the director of the Presidential Scholarship Department, was jointly charged with Paidamoyo Mwandiyambira, 44, of Dawnview Park in Tynwald and Martha Ruth Tariro Chigama, 57, of Ashdown Park.

Mwandiyambira is a receptionist at Masaisai Primary School in Westgate and Chigama is a headmistress at Martin Luther King Junior School in Warren Park in Harare.

Mugabe’s scholarship,  which offers tuition fees, monthly allowance, and other study-related costs to students pursuing Bachelor, Masters or PhD study level at South African universities, targets disadvantaged students from rural schools in remote districts.

The trio appeared in court on Friday.

Presiding magistrate Tendai Mahwe granted them $200 bail each before ordering them to continue residing at their present addresses, surrender their passports and not to interfere with witnesses.

The complainant is detective assistant inspector Addmore Marange of Criminal Investigations Department Serious Fraud Squad in Harare.

Administrators of the scholarship have said they do not collect money for processing and awarding of the scholarships as well as admission into universities.

If students are not selected under national merit, State equity or other criteria, there are no agents that would be paid to make the admission possible.

Prosecutor Idah Maromo alleged that between 2010 and 2015, Mafuwu hatched a plan to defraud her employer and recruited Mwandiyambira and Chigama.

Mafuwu would solicit for bribes from prospective scholarship candidates that would have been brought in by Mwandiyambira and Chigama.

They would allegedly solicit between $500 and $1 500 from each candidate who intended to benefit from the scholarship, then split the proceeds among themselves.

As a result, they demanded and received bribes from Kudzanai Hwami, Nyasha Mangwiro, Adele Mandiriri, Kudzanai Mativu, Wadzanai Mahusha, Wadzanai Mutendereki, Charles Nzunga, Tsitsi Moyo, Rumbidzayi Sithole, and two other applicants only identified as Magutsa and Mautsa.

Of the listed candidates, Mutivu and Mutendereki benefited by undertaking their degree programmes at Monash University in South Africa between 2010 and 2013.

The offence came to light after Mandiriri had failed to benefit and demanded a refund from the accused persons.

The court heard that Mafuwu and her accomplices started becoming evasive before Samantha Mandiriri, the complainant’s sister, approached the President’s Office for clarity.

The matter was reported to the police, leading to the trio’s arrest.

The State is yet to finalise the total prejudice suffered by complainants.

Comments (5)

Tip of an iceberg, they are the sacrificial animals of a rotten system of corruption, nepotism and moral bankruptcy being promoted from the very top of the feeding chain.

Galore 123 - 25 April 2016

While I do not support the corrupt activities , I am totally against the process and the way the scholarship program is run. If statistical analysis is to be fairly done you will see less than 20% of the deserving students get those scholarships. Most of the beneficiaries are sons and daughters of CIOs, top government officials, PAs, DAs and heads of ministries. To confirm what I am saying if one checks where the student did his or her A level studies you will see that the student was not coming from a poor family.These were just unfortunate culprits but the Presidential scholarship program is not reaching the intended people full stop.

mwenje - 25 April 2016

@mwenje. Did it ever click in your mind that from the outset this scholarship programme was meant for the deserving students ? If you are a Zimbabwean I expect you to know very well what Zanu-PF is all about. No point for you to talk sense on anything done by Mugabe and his cronies. All what he bothers about is for himself and his cronies at the expense of every other Zimbabwean whom they deem not part of their keith and kin. Unfortunately many Zimbabweans have been alignated to the extent of forsaking their beloved mother land because they have mistaken the kicks in their a..s by this man to mean that nyika yavaramba.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 25 April 2016

ndiyo yataichemera zimbabwe

simon chauke - 25 April 2016

Havana kuguta 15 billion

vhakelah580 - 25 April 2016

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