Ex-school head in court over $90 000 swindle

US dollars

Court Reporter

A former headmaster on Tuesday appeared in court for swindling a Dzivaresekwa school of over $90 000. Philemon Alufayi (65), a former headmaster at Nhamburiko Primary School, appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Rumbidzai Mugwagwa.He was facing charges of theft of trust property and was remanded to March 15 on $200 bail. As part of his bail conditions, he was ordered to report once a fortnight on Fridays at CID Commercial Crime, to reside at his given address and not to interfere with State witnesses.

The complainant is Nhamburiko Primary School, represented by its acting head Ms Gladys Matumba. The court heard that Alufayi was employed as the school head for seven years, from January 2009 to October last year.

The prosecutor Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa alleged that Alufayi was also the accounting officer responsible for the overall supervision of the teaching process and subordinates. It is alleged Alufayi also managed the schools financial books and records.

The court heard that he was a signatory to the school development fund (SDF) CBZ bank account number 20057670020.

The school’s procurement procedure required the school finance committee to firstly convene whenever the need arose.

Minutes would be recorded during the meeting and would be taken to the procurement committee. The committee would choose from three quotations and send the agreed quotation to Alufayi for authorisation. At least two signatories would withdraw money from the bank for the purchase and hand over the money to the accounting assistant for payment.

It is alleged that between January 2015 and October last year, Alufayi connived with the chairperson of the school’s development committee Mr Saul Tore and the deputy chairperson Marjory Zingoni.

The court heard that between May 6 and 16 last year, the school authorised a withdrawal of $2 300. Alufayi and Tore made a double withdrawal and allegedly converted the other $2 300 to their personal use.

It is alleged that on May 27 last year, Alufayi transferred $1 050 from the school’s bank account to Tore’s personal bank account. The court heard that Alufayi, Tore and Zingoni made a withdrawal of $89 036, 48 which they converted to their personal use. To cover up the offence, the court heard that the trio created fictitious receipts from different non-existent companies to acquit the withdrawals.

The offence came to light following an internal audit which discovered that the school lost $92 386,48.

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