Thursday 9 November 2023


The suspended Harare Municipal Medical Aid Society (HMMAS) chief executive Everesto Rukasha and former Bikita West legislator Munyaradzi Kereke were yesterday before the courts for conniving to defraud the medical aid society of US$400 000.

HMMAS was established through the City of Harare Workers’ Union to offer medical aid services to its employees.

The two allegedly lied that Kereke was still owed US$400 000 by the society when it bought his hospital in 2014.

Rukasha and Kereke appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Marehwanazvo Gofa charged with fraud.

The two were remanded in custody and are expected to apply for bail today.

Kereke was the founder and owner of Briward Fortress Hospital but in early 2014, said prosecutor Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti, Kereke agreed to sell his Fortress hospital located in Ruwa, Chipukutu Sebastopol, to HMMAS.

Kareke appointed Newton Madzika, the managing director of Health Body Images [Pvt) Ltd, to conduct the transaction on his behalf.

So on November 7, 2014, Rukasha representing HMMAS entered into an agreement of sale with Briward Private [Ltd] represented by Newton Madzika for the purchase of Fortress Hospital for US$800 000 which was the full purchase price. The money was to be paid into the account of Health Body Images held with Kingdom Bank Limited.

The court heard that on November 14, 2014, Madzika transferred US$800 000 into the trust account of Kereke’s lawyers, Mambosasa Legal Practitioners. Then on March 18, last year, Rukasha working in connivance with Kereke, formulated a plan to defraud HMMAS by writing a letter to HMMAS misrepresenting that they still owed Kereke US$400 000 from the purchase of Fortress Hospital and demanding for the payment knowing fully well that HMMAS had paid him the purchase price in full.In furtherance of their common purpose, on March 21 last year, Rukasha entered into a fraudulent acknowledgement of debt acknowledging that HMMAS was owing Kereke US$400 000. That acknowledgement of debt went to Sibusisiwe Mleya, the finance and administration manager of HMMAS, and Rukasha verbally instructed him to pay the money.

Mleya was deceived into believing that the payment was due and that HMMAS was owing Kereke, thereby effecting a part payment of US$120 000.

On July 12, 2022, the Board realised that HMMAS had no legacy debt and stopped making payments.

Kereke then approached HMMAS Board threatening to repossess the property which was still in his name and made it clear to them that he was still in possession of the property title deeds.

As a result, HMMAS authorised payments towards the liquidation of the fraudulently acknowledged debt and paid another US$17 000.

HMMAS board later reflected on the concession and rescinded the resolution to effect payment and reported the matter to Zimbabwe Anti-corruption Commission.

To date, Kereke has received a total of US$137 000 from HMMAS towards the liquidation of the fraudulent debt claim of US$400 000. Herald


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