Friday, 30 September 2016

SOLDIER MASQUERADES AS MUGABE AIDE

A soldier based at KGVI in Harare reportedly masqueraded as a committee member of the presidential scholarship programme and swindled two people of close to $1 000 on the pretext that he had secured scholarships for them to study abroad.George Zino (35), a corporal, allegedly demanded $550 from each victim which, he said was for tuition and modules for the first semester.

He would in turn give the unsuspecting students forms with a fake date stamp inscribed “Ministry of Higher Education scholarship trust principle (sic) director”. Zino appeared before Mr Tendai Mahwe charged with fraud.

He was remanded in custody to today for bail application. The prosecutor, Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa alleged that sometime in September 2014, Zino called his former schoolmate (name not given) and advised him that he was part of the committee which was selecting students for the Presidential Scholarship Programme.

Zino further misrepresented to the complainant that he was in a position to assist all his relatives to secure the scholarship.

He added that for the scholarship to be processed, $550 was required which he said was for tuition and modules for the first semester, the court heard.

As a result, the complainant got interested and told Zino that he wanted his sister Brenda Chiringa to be part of the scholarship. The complainant, the State alleged, managed to raise $350 and asked to pay the balance later and Zino accepted.

Thereafter, the complainant gave his sister the money which she then handed over to Zino who in turn gave Chiringa an “acceptance form” with a fake stamp purported to have been stamped by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development.

He also gave her a paper which he said was a student contract form.
According to the State, the forms had a date stamp inscribed “Ministry of Higher Education scholarship trust principle (sic) director”.

The accused told complainant that the first semester would start in April the following year.
After the complainant had made a “deal” with Zino which he thought was genuine, he also informed his friend who also fell for the deal and referred his wife Stella Mamvura to the accused.

Mamvura was asked by Zino to part with $550 which she did, the court heard.
She was again told that the first semester would start in April last year but nothing materialised and Zino became evasive.

The court further heard that in May this year, the complainants saw a Press statement which was placed in the local newspapers by Minister Christopher Mushohwe stating that those who were swindled through presidential scholarship had to call his office.
They responded and made a report to the police. Herald

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