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Grannies ‘steal’ US$17k+ burial money

By Sharon Buwerimwe

Two elderly women from Bulawayo allegedly stole US$17 160, R4 800 and RTGS$14 000 from their burial society.

File picture of people waiting outside the Western Commonage Magistrates Courts in Bulawayo
File picture of people waiting outside the Western Commonage Magistrates Courts in Bulawayo

Dorcas Machengo (72) and Evelyn Chapepa (78) from Magwegwe suburb allegedly betrayed the trust bestowed on them by Thandanani Burial Society.

Machengo was the secretary while Chapepa was the chairlady and treasurer.

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They pleaded not guilty to theft of trust property before Western Commonage magistrate Mr Stephen Ndlovu.

The duo was remanded out of custody on free bail to October 18 for continuation of trial.

Machengo, however, said: “Ukuthatha sibili ngiyavuma kodwa angithathanga yonke, ngathatha i$1 400 kuphela,’ (I admit that I took some money but I didn’t take all of it, I just took $1 400.”

The State represented by Mr Tony Kamudyariwa said the matter came to light in December 2018 when some bereaved members of the group approached them seeking money for funeral expenses.

“Society members contributed money in foreign currency which was kept by the accused persons. The members’ contribution increased from US$3 to US$5. During that same month members needed money for funeral expenses but Machengo and Chapepa failed to produce the money,” he said.

Mr Kamudyariwa said an audit was carried out and it was discovered that part of the money was missing from the coffers.

He said Machengo and Chapepa had promised to return the money but failed and members reported the matter to the police leading to their arrest. The Chronicle