Aspiring nurses swindled of $60k

Masvingo Bureau
Police have busted one of the largest fraud syndicates in Zimbabwe, which swindled desperate job-seekers of more than $60 000 for fake nurse training vacancies at Masvingo Provincial Hospital.

Six members of the syndicate busted in Masvingo City have appeared before Masvingo magistrate Mr Peter Madhibha on fraud charges. The group allegedly duped more than 55 job-seekers after placing a fake newspaper article with a list of purported successful applicants for nurse training starting in May 2018. Prosecutor Mr Fidelis Nyamukondiwa told the court that hundreds of job-seekers had responded to the fake advertisement.

Patricia Muyambo Magazini (34) of Building Brigade in Masvingo allegedly connived with Beauty Dzviti (24), an employee with Econet Wireless Shop at Jerera Growth Point in Zaka, to register two different lines using fake names.

They allegedly recruited four more bogus recruitment agents who would instruct prospective applicants to send bribe money into the fake Ecocash accounts. The four are Jairos Mupamhadzi (35) of Silveira Hospital in Bikita, Respina Manjeru (45) of Mawarire Village under Chief Nhema in Zaka and Hebert Munyikwa (45) and Martha Nyapokoto (46), both of Manjovha Village under Chief Mabika in Bikita.

The bribe money for enrolment ranged from $800 to $1 200 per applicant, Mr Nyamukondiwa told the court. Magazini and Dzviti were granted $300 bail each pending trial on Friday next week.

The court ordered Magazini to report at Chikato Police Station every day, while Dzviti would report at Jerera Police Station, also on a daily basis. The other four suspects were released after the court noted that they had been over-detained in police cells.

Mr Madhibha released them in line with the constitutional provisions and their case would proceed by way of summons. In their bail application, lawyer Mr Owen Mafa of Mutendi, Shumba and Partners, argued that the detention of his clients for 56 hours was in contravention of the Constitution.

It is the State case that on September 19, 2017, the syndicate, masqueraded as a genuine recruitment authority, placed a notice in a national newspaper with a list of applicants which it purported had secured places for nurse training at the Masvingo Provincial Hospital.

The State further argued that both authorities at the nurse training school and the Provincial Medical Director for Masvingo, Dr Amadeus Shamhu, disowned the advert.

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