TWO Tsholotsho Rural District Council officials and one director of an engineering company last week appeared in court facing fraud charges involving $56 000 vehicle purchases.
The council’s Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (Campfire) manager Jericho Moyo of Efusini township in Tsholotsho and the finance officer Martin Framer Ndlovu of the same township as well as the director of DAP Diesel Injection and Electrical Company Kennias Msipa Zangari of Nketa in Bulawayo, denied the fraud charges when they appeared in court.
In his defence Moyo told the court that what he knew was the council chief executive officer Sami Muleya had authorised the purchase of the vehicles at a cost of $56 000.
The case against Muleya has been dropped due to lack of evidence. The State is alleging that the two vehicles cost a total of $24 000.
Moyo denied that they connived to defraud the local authority of $32 000, which was reportedly the remainder — according to State papers — that was left after they had purchased the vehicles for $24 000.
The other two accused are yet to give their defence.
Allegations against the three were that on December 18 2009 at around 11.22am, a Campfire meeting was held at the Tsholotsho council Hall.
Community members resolved that the council should buy two Toyota Land Cruisers for the council’s Campfire programmes.
Moyo, Ndlovu and Zangari allegedly connived and hatched a plan to defraud the local authority after the meeting.
It was the State’s case that on January 12 2010, Zangari raised a fictitious DAP Diesel and Electrical Company invoice purporting that he had two Toyota Land Cruisers for sale to the council at a cost of $26 000 and $30 000 respectively.
The following day, Moyo allegedly travelled to Bulawayo accompanied by one Bernard Moyo, the Tsholotsho district Campfire chairperson, whom he had picked up from his rural home as a witness in the withdrawal of funds from the council’s CBZ Bank account.
While in Bulawayo, Moyo allegedly met Ndlovu, who withdrew $56 000 from the council account.
It was the State’s case that after the withdrawal, they went to Diesel and Electrical Services Company where Bernard Moyo was introduced to Zangare as the car dealer, who had sold the council two Campfire vehicles.
It was alleged that Zangare raised a fictitious DAP Diesel and Electrical Services invoice purporting that he had two Toyota Land cruisers for sale to the local authority.
Ndlovu allegedly gave Zangare $56 000 and he raised a fictitious invoice acknowledging receipt of the money as the cost of the two vehicles when he did not have the cars.
Zangare approached TIKYS Car Sales and bought one Toyota Land Cruiser 1993 model for $13 000.
He already had the other vehicle and he made an agreement of sale before delivering the two vehicles worth $24 000 to the council.
Moyo and Ndlovu were accused of having authorised the purchasing of the vehicles for the council without following procurement procedures in an effort to defraud the local authority.
Senior officials at the local authority discovered the fraud and reported the matter to the police, leading to the arrest of the three.