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Six more cops in court over $200 000 theft

By Mashudu Netsianda

Six more police officers, including four bosses in charge of the training at Ntabazinduna Training Depot, appeared in court yesterday charged with theft of more than $200 000 in projects funds.

Chief Superintendent Rosum Shonhiwa (42) who is responsible for training, Inspector Sibonginkosi Dube (38), the officer-in-charge of the mess, Assistant Inspector Oswald Mushonga (33), finance clerk and Constables Kelvin Moyo and Tafadzwa Sibanda appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya facing theft charges involving $206 048.47.

Superintendent Farai Chikonamombe (43) appeared separately before the same magistrate facing a charge of criminal abuse of duty as public officer.

The magistrate remanded all of them out of custody to March 1 on $50 bail each.

He ordered them not to interfere with State witnesses and to reside at their given addresses until the matter is finalised as part of the bail conditions.

The State, represented by Ms Liane Nkomo, did not oppose bail.

Advocate Sampson Samuel Mlaudzi is representing Chikonamombe.

Mr Bryon Sengweni is Shonhiwa’s lawyer while Mr Kucaca Ivumile Phulu is representing Moyo.

Dube and Sibanda are represented by Mr Jabulani Mhlanga while Mushonga is not represented.

The court heard that between September 21 and December 31, 2016, Shonhiwa, Mushonga and Fidelis Chivavava connived and signed internal funds transfer slips authorising Standard Chartered Bank to transfer $14 785 from Ntabazinduna Training Depot’s Mess account into Dube, Moyo and Sibanda’s accounts.

Chivavava, who is already on remand for the same charge, was the acting finance clerk at ZRP Ntabazinduna Training Depot responsible for withdrawing, holding in trust the withdrawn funds, conducting payments for suppliers and reconciling the money.

The court heard that between 2015 and 2016, Chikonamombe connived with Chivavava and signed an order to pay suppliers using already paid invoices for acquittals and in the process prejudicing their employer of $144 014,29.

During the same year, Chikonamombe and Chivavava signed another order and purportedly indicated in the financial books that they paid Oscaria Bakery and Fortwell Wholesalers and prejudiced ZRP of $147 214,29 Between January 18 and 19 this year an internal audit was carried out at ZRP Ntabazinduna Training Depot and it was discovered that a total of $206 048,47 was missing from the coffers.

When the accused persons were engaged over the issue they failed to account for the money.

A report was made to police at Mbembesi on 10 February leading to their arrest.

Investigators found a bank statement indicating all the bank transfers made by the accused persons including copies of the beneficiaries’ signed bank slips. The Chronicle

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