Chitown surveyor in the dock
Chitungwiza Municipality quantity surveyor Tendai Mandihlare has appeared in court on allegations of misrepresenting to his employer that a grader they had hired, accumulated a $1,5 million debt, when in fact it did not provide the service.
Mandihlare (44) was facing fraud charges when he appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje yesterday.
He was granted $500 000 bail.
Chitungwiza Municipality was represented by Mr Japson Nemuseso, the council’s Chamber Secretary.
Allegations are that sometime in May 2021, Chitungwiza Municipality sought to undertake road rehabilitation under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP) funded by a ZINARA grant.
The project focused on the rehabilitation of Maeresa and Gura Roads in Chitungwiza.
Chitungwiza Municipality hired two tipper trucks from Ripcare Investments (Pvt) Ltd, to ferry gravel to road construction sites.
Payments were processed on a five-day cycle as the jobs were being completed.
The two tipper trucks started work on May 7, 2021 and Chitungwiza Municipality assigned its general hands to perform time keeping duties.
For the first week, both trucks were recorded to have been used for the intended purpose by valid time sheets submitted by the assigned timekeepers.
The time sheets formed the foundation of the payment made to Ripcare Investments as they confirmed the contractor’s performance.
It is alleged that due to non-payment, Sam Bee Logistics withdrew one of the vehicles that had been subcontracted by Ripcare Investments after seven days of work.
Investigations revealed that during period when the vehicles were hired Chitungwiza Municipality, the general hands assigned to do time keeping duties – Nyasha Chirumiko, Gift Nyamakambo and Method Mutabeni – produced time sheets and submitted them to Mandihlare for payment processing.
The accused prepared “daily plant return hired tipper sheets” using the submitted time sheets and misrepresented to his superiors by verifying and confirming that indeed the truck had been providing service to Chitungwiza Municipality, yet he knew it did not as it had been withdrawn by its owners.
The verified Daily Plant Return Hired Tipper sheets were then submitted to the roads superintendent, Joy Sanyika, for forwarding to the finance director for payment.
A payment was made through a series of transactions, and the amount totalled $1 548 040.
Mandihlare allegedly misrepresented to the roads superintendent that vehicle, registration number AFI 1301, had performed the work it was hired for, and as such, the contractor was entitled to payment.
As a result of the accused person’s misrepresentations to Chitungwiza Municipality, it suffered a prejudice of $1 548 040 and nothing was recovered.