Fraudulent allowance backfires

Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent
A FORMER sales floor supervisor with Sakubva Spar in Mutare fraudulently won an allowance claim during arbitration, which he used to defraud the company of $14 600, the court heard last Friday.

Barnabas Mujaji was charged with fraud when he appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo.

He was granted $200 bail.

The complainant is Rockmond Trading which owned four supermarkets trading under the Spar brand.

Allegations are that sometime in 2011, Mujaji was transferred to Sakubva Spar in Mutare as a sales floor supervisor.

In July 2013, it is alleged that all the complainant’s shops including Sakubva Spar closed down due to financial constraints and upon closure of the businesses, the complainant owed employees’ salaries.

The court heard that the complainant resolved to pay the outstanding salaries and later retrenchment packages to employees. Sometime in November, it is alleged that Mujaji felt the complainant was delaying in payment of his terminal benefits and decided to take the matter for arbitration.

It is the State’s case that Mujaji manufactured a fake employment contract showing that he was entitled to a monthly housing allowance of $200.

Armed with the fake contract document, Mujaji proceeded to a labour arbitration on three different occasions from October 2014 to July 2015, seeking to be paid his housing allowance, among other benefits.

The court heard that as a result of the misrepresentation, the arbitrator awarded a total of $16 800 in housing allowance which was not due to Mujaji for the period he was employed by the complainant.

It is alleged that the complainant paid a total of $14 600 as housing allowances to Mujaji and was left with a balance of $2 200.

The matter came to light in December 2015 when the complainant carried out investigations and discovered that Mujaji had used a fraudulent contract to support his housing allowance claim during the arbitration process leading to his arrest on March 10.

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