Trio loots housing co-op funds

Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
Three housing cooperative executive members have appeared in court charged with swindling $280 000 in membership subscriptions meant for the servicing of residential stands.

A Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) administrator, Erison Chingoma, is jointly charged with Sergeant Chimombe and Thulani Noel Majoni.

The trio appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe this week facing theft of trust property charges. They were remanded to March 3 on $200 bail each. Mr Mahwe ordered the trio to report every Friday at CID Serious Frauds, not to interfere with State witnesses and to reside at their given addresses. The complainant in the matter is Vana Vevhu Cooperative represented by its administrator, Mr Rasks Maguta.

Prosecuting, Mr Peter Kachilika told the court that Vana Vevhu Co-operative was formed in 2004. It is alleged that Chimombe, Majoni and Chingoma were appointed as part of the management committee holding the posts of chairperson, secretary and treasurer, respectively. The trio were signatories to the housing cooperative’s Metbank account number 0507010554017, it is alleged.

The court heard that the cooperative had 100 members who contributed subscriptions towards the servicing of their residential stands. Members paid cash or through bank deposits and the trio were authorised to make withdrawals whenever the cooperative required money.

Sometime in 2013, the trio was voted out of office after it was become apparent that funds had been misappropriated.

An audit was carried out and the trio was requested to provide a record of expenditure, receipts and invoices, which they failed to do.

Accountants discovered that the cooperative lost $286 855, leading to the trio’s arrest.

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