Zimpapers suffers $75 000 swindle

Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
Former Zimbabwe Newspapers Group Pvt (Ltd) accountant Nhamo Dongo allegedly swindled the company of $75 000 after crowding the pension fund payroll with deceased pensioners.

Dongo (41) of Vainona, Harare, appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Rumbidzayi Mugwagwa facing charges of fraud and was remanded to March 31 on $200 bail.

He was ordered to surrender his passport, report at CID Serious Frauds every Friday and not to interfere with State witnesses. The complainant in the matter is the Zimpapers Group, represented by its loss control officer Mr Pattson Katsande.

The prosecutor Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa alleged that Dongo was responsible for checking the pension fund payroll before sending it for approval by the pension fund manager. It is alleged that in November 2014, Dongo connived with the pension fund administrator, who is on the run.

The pair identified deceased pensioners in the company’s computerised system and those on full commutation and reactivated their files.

The files for the deceased pensioners and those on commutation were supposed to be closed and removed from the payroll.

The pair deliberately kept the files active and fraudulently processed payment for the deceased pensioners.

Dongo and his accomplice opened bank accounts for friends and relatives where the fraudulent payment of pensions would be deposited.

Using their relatives and friends, the pair withdrew the money, but the scam was unearthed after Zimpapers instituted an audit. The matter was reported to the police on February 11.

Zimpapers lost $75 373, 91 and nothing was recovered.

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