Ex-bank clerk convicted over $1m bogus salaries

Nyore Madzianike Senior Court Reporter

A FORMER validation clerk at Agribank will perform 280 hours of community service after he was convicted of defrauding the bank of $1 042 144,80 in fake salaries.

Batsirai Joseph Toronga created another salaries account for himself and for his girlfriend before crediting them with money from the bank.

Toronga was initially jailed for 24 months when he appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje charged with fraud. Eight months were suspended on condition that he paid back what he stole while another six months were set aside on the normal conditions of good behaviour.

The remaining 10 months were commuted to community service. Toronga will perform the unpaid work at Marlborough Police Station in Harare.

Agreed facts are that he created his own account and that of his girlfriend, Tariro Hombasha, before crediting various amounts from Agribank during the Covid-19 lockdown.

During his tenure as salaries validation clerk at Agribank, his duties were to manage the bank’s postilion system which allowed him to process Agriplus payments, processing income and outgoing salaries of Agribank staff on contracts.

He was also responsible for processing of debit orders and manual stop orders and formatted batches for upload for salaries payments. Armed with these privileges, he started debiting the Agriplus Pool Accounts and then crediting the Agripay account. He would then credit his account with money from October 15, 2019 until September 25, 2020.

On May 29, 2020, Toronga assisted his girlfriend to open an Agriplus account and started crediting different amounts of money into that account until September 25, 2020.

Toronga transferred $608 799,07 into his girlfriend’s account.

Upon his arrest, Toronga was found with US$2 700 which he had bought with proceeds of the fraudulent money.

Mr Shephered Makonde prosecuted.

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