Army accountants on fresh corruption charges involving over $750 000
By Nyore Madzianike
A procurement officer in the Ministry of Defence, Peter Muchakazi, who is facing fraud charges involving $300 000 appeared in court on Thursday on fresh corruption charges involving over $750 000.
He is being charged alongside three other accounts officers — Jonathan Tandangu, Dhuvai Muzenda and Maria Fungisai Chiurira.
The quartet appeared before magistrate Mr Amos Mbobo on criminal abuse of office charges.
They were not asked to plead and were remanded out of custody on $3 000 bail each. They will be back in court on March 27.
Allegations are that sometime in May last year, Tandangu, who is the administration and transport officer, teamed up with the Zimbabwe Defence Forces finance manager and signed fake invoices purporting that Ollymann (Pvt) Ltd or Mabelreign Suspension had serviced their cars.
The invoices were reportedly not accompanied by a request from the user department, quotations, and tender documents from the procurement and research officer, which is a requirement before signing confirmation invoices.
Prosecutor Mrs Tinashe Makiya said the invoices were taken to the personal assistant of the procurement director, who also directed them for booking so payment would be processed.
Muchakazi, being the procurement director, is alleged to have recommended that accounts department make a payment in the absence of the required documents.
The court heard that Muchakazi was supposed to oppose payment to recommend the invoices to the accounts department without the requisite documents.
Tirivangani Matare, who is a principal accountant and has since been arrested in connection with the matter, allegedly abused his position and processed the transaction under the expenditure accounts instead of suspense accounts.
Matare is said to have instructed Oscar Kwaramba to process the payment before asking Muzenda to park the document.
The court heard that at some point, Kwaramba approached Joseph Providence Chamboko to use his profile account to process payment to Ollymann (Pvt) Ltd.
Chamboko became suspicious after Kwaramba, who had no profile, wanted to raise payment.
He then posted the payment on the invoices and reversed it after checking with Otillia Mhundwa, the accountant who was responsible for payment of 2018 invoices.
Upon checking with the Age-Analysis system where all outstanding invoices are recorded, Mhundwa is said to have noticed that the invoices were not recorded.
Kwaramba allegedly posted the payment using Chiurira’s profile after she had travelled to Malaysia on April 30 last year.
It is said the payment transaction was processed by chief accountant Lameck Jekiseni and a payment of $751 150 was made into Ollymann (Pvt) Ltd’s FBC account.
On her return from Malaysia, Chirurira signed and backdated the dates on the documents to the period she was out of the country to cover up the issue.
The offence came to light following investigations by officers from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission. The Herald