Two Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) executives allegedly siphoned over half a million dollars from their employer after awarding themselves unapproved allowances, a Harare magistrate heard yesterday.
The two are Richard Chingodza (41), employed as the acting general manager, and Hannan Tongai Chitate (35), who is the company’s acting deputy general manager (finance and administration).They allegedly swindled the company of $625 226,88 and nothing was recovered.
Chingodza and Chitate yesterday appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Bianca Makwande charged with fraud or alternatively criminal abuse of office as a public officer and theft.
They were remanded to October 12 on $5 000 bail each coupled with some conditions.
As part of their bail conditions, they were ordered to report twice a week at CID Serious Frauds, to reside at their given addresses, not to interfere with witnesses and to surrender their passports.
The State had consented to $500 bail but Ms Makwande felt it was too little considering the facts and the amount involved before raising it to $5 000.
They are being represented by Messrs Lovemore Madhuku and Isheunopa Mataka, while Mr Peter Kachirika appeared for the State.
The deputy general manager (finance and administration) reports to the general manager while the permanent secretary implements MMCZ policies in liaison with the board.
All MMCZ employees require approval from their superiors whenever they apply for loans
and the general manager is required to seek approval from the board chairperson on all requests while the deputy general manager’s applications are approved by the general manager in consultation with the board chairperson.
However, contrary to their duties and without following the procedure, Chingodza and Chitate acting in connivance, the State alleged, fraudulently awarded themselves allowances and loans amounting to $625 226.88 over a period extending June 2013 to April this year.
Chingodza, the court heard, benefited $390 985, which he awarded himself on various occasions as an acting allowance, medium-term loan, education loan, long- service award and backpay.
Chitate reportedly pocketed $234 241 on the pretext it was for his education, acting allowance and backpay.
Chingodza was appointed the acting general manager in November 2011 untilJune this year while Chitate was appointed to his post during the same period. herald