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GMB boss, wife up for ‘$25k fraud’

By Patrick Chitumba

A Grain Marketing Board (GMB) Gweru depot manager and his wife have been arrested for allegedly defrauding the parastatal of more than $25 000.

Lazarus Vhengere and his wife Tanatsiwa Munyanyiwa yesterday appeared before Gweru magistrate Mr Progress Murandu for initial remand.

Vhengere is facing two counts of criminal abuse of office and fraud while Munyanyiwa is facing one count of fraud.

The couple pleaded not guilty to the charges and was each remanded out of custody on $50 bail to January 30.

It is alleged that during a period extending from September 2017 to November last year, Vhengere being GMB Gweru depot manager acting in common purpose with his wife, hatched a plan to defraud the depot.

The couple allegedly misrepresented to GMB Gweru depot that Munyanyiwa had bought GMB products worth $25 344-26, the amount she allegedly swiped into the depot bank account in exchange for cash collected at the depot.

It is the State’s case that because of Vhengere’s alleged conduct, on non compliance to procedure, Gweru GMB depot suffered a prejudice of its good corporate governance as the couple took the hard cash and replaced it with swipe money.

The matter was reported to the police leading to the arrest of the couple.

Mr Reginald Chidawanyika appeared for Vhengere and Munyanyiwa while Ms Namatirai Madzudzu appeared for the State.

In an unrelated matter, a 26 -year-old self confessed traditional healer from Zvishavane was sentenced to 20 years in prison for aggravated indecent assault on two children from a home he had gone to “exorcise” evil spirits.

Tatenda Masiiwa of Maglas, Zvishavane appeared before Regional magistrate Mrs Phathekile Msipa facing two counts of aggravated indecent assault.

Masiiwa was convicted after a full trial against his own plea of not guilty.

Mrs Msipa sentenced him to 20 years but he will serve 17 years after three years of his sentence were suspended on condition of good behaviour.

It was the State case that on count one and on October 18 last year around 9PM, Masiiwa was invited to the complainants homestead to remove evil spirits.

The following day, Masiiwa invited the first complainant (13) to accompany him to his homestead where he sodomised him the whole night before giving him $200 to conceal the act.

On October 24, Masiiwa returned to the homestead and was told to sleep in the same room with the second complainant (16) whom he sodomised once before the boy fled.

The matter was reported to the police leading to his arrest.

Mr Kelvin Guveya appeared for the State. The Chronicle