Thursday 8 February 2024


THE Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) lost about $24 million after its payment system was hacked by one of its software developers .

Arnold Chifamba (26) appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Nyaradzo Manokore yesterday charged with theft. He was granted US$100 bail and returns to court on April 16.

The complainant in this case is Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) represented by its Information and Communication Technology Services manager, Chabarwa Rony Murahwa, who is also Chifamba’s supervisor.

Chifamba’s duties included integration of HIT’s online application system with external payment service provider, Software House Private Limited trading as PayNow Limited in order to facilitate collection of registration fees.

Prosecuting, Ms Grace Mugocheke alleged that sometime last year, HIT invited applicants from prospective students from Zimbabwe and beyond. The applications are done online through the HIT online application platform which was managed by Chifamba.

But Chifamba then logged into the system and changed HIT PayNow Limited account number from 11862, b5ad7dac-15bf-4a14-99d6-84f1f990b7fd to read 13425, 1f295c9b-0810-4cc1-98d-9cef6ec26b25 in the name of Chifsoft which is under his control.

By so doing, all HIT online application fees were diverted into his PayNow account. Chifamba allegedly later instructed PayNow Limited to further transfer the stolen funds into his CBZ Bank Account Number in Chitungwiza Branch.

He stole a total of $3 302 564 from HIT.

This year, HIT invited prospective students and Chifamba again used the same modus operandi and diverted application fees into his usual PayNow account number 13425 and stole a total of $21 217 069,61.

 The court heard that on January 31, Chifamba through e-mail instructed Pay Now Ltd to move the funds to his CBZ account.

HIT noted the anomaly and withheld the funds in the PayNow account belonging to Chifamba.

Then on February 1, PayNow Ltd alerted HIT who in turn made a police report leading to the arrest of Chifamba at his workplace.

 A total of $24 519 633,33 was diverted and $21 217 069 was recovered. Herald


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