TWO National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) employees are in trouble over more than ZW$932 900 which they allegedly defrauded a former employee who was being compensated every month after he incurred injuries while on duty in 1994.
The matter, which has been pending at the courts for a long time under unclear circumstances, resumed last week in Bulawayo.
The two employees Charles Marufu (61) of Chief Nembudziya’s area in Gokwe, who was employed by NRZ as compensation clerk and Lovemore Mutakiwa (59) of Greenhill in Bulawayo, who is employed as receiving cashier by the parastatal, appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Gladmore Mushove charged with fraud. They denied the charge and the magistrate remanded them out of custody to October 23 for continuation of trial.
This was after the State, represented by Jeremiah Mutsindikwa called the victim of the fraud, Josphat Stephen Moyo, to testify in court.
Moyo of Nkulumane had told the court that he was injured while on duty sometime in 1994 and the two defrauded him of his compensation following the accident.
The court heard that in 1994, Moyo was involved in an accident while in the course of his work and the degree of his disability was assessed to be 30%.
Moyo was to receive monthly disability compensation. It is the State case that on October 30 1997, Moyo retired from NRZ and surrendered his work identity card at the NRZ Rutenga Station where he was based.
Sometime in 2006, the government issued a directive through Statutory Instrument 229, which stated that all disability compensation of 30% and below should be ceased and beneficiaries to be paid a one-off lump sum.
It is the state case that after the government’s directive, the two employees acting in connivance hatched a plan to steal Moyo’s compensation lump sum disability payment.
Marufu allegedly assessed Moyo’s disability payment at Z$932 962,98 acting in common purpose with Mutakiwa, they facilitated the disapproval of the payment voucher in respect of Moyo and thereafter released the said cash, which they converted to their own use.
To cover up for the offence, the two forged the signatures of Moyo on the payment voucher purporting that he had signed and collected his money.
Moyo later discovered that his compensation was no longer forth coming and investigated, only to discover that the two had allegedly diverted his money and he made a report to the police leading to their arrest.