ZESA technician up for fraud

10 Aug, 2016 - 00:08 0 Views
ZESA technician up for fraud

The Herald

Tendai Rupapa : Senior Court Reporter

A ZESA Holdings employee has been arrested together with his friend on allegations of fraud after they reportedly demanded a $1 000 kickback from a businesswoman in return for restoring power to her business premises. The complainant (name not supplied), who is the director of Sorellas Pizzeria and Café, experienced a power outage at her restaurant in Harare’s leafy suburb of Ballantyne Park.Other business tenants in the same premises were also affected by the power cut.

Darryn Blumears (30), who resides in the same area, was aware of the fault and allegedly advised the complainant that he had a friend employed by ZESA who could fix the problem for them.

He then roped in Eugine Chikepe (32), a technician stationed at Mabvuku depot.

Blumears and Chikepe appeared before Mr Tendai Mahwe charged with two counts of fraud.

They were released on $50 bail each, coupled with some conditions among them reporting once a week to the police and not to interfere with wit- nesses.

The State alleged that on July 7, Blumears approached the complainant and indicated to her that he knew of a ZESA employee who could fix the problem for a fee of $150.

As a result, Blumears was given the money which he allegedly converted to his own use.

On August 2, Blumears and Chikepe informed the complainant that there was need to purchase some cables to reconnect the power.

Blumears, the court heard, indicated to the complaint that $850 was required for the purchase of the said cables.

The complainant then informed him that he needed to discuss with other tenants who were also affected by the electricity blackout.

After consultations with other her co-tenants, they agreed to pay the required amount after the installation of the new cables.

Amongst the affected people was Mr Tapiwa Mudekunye, who got information that ZESA had actually bought a new transformer for their area and he informed the complainant.

On August 3, Chikepe who knew that his employer had secured the transformer, contacted the complainant and misrepresented to her that he was the one who had bought the transformer, the State alleged.

He added that he was going to install it on that same day for a fee of $850, which they had earlier agreed on.

As a result, the complainant reported the matter to the police and a trap was set the following day.

The businesswoman then invited Blumears to collect the money at her restaurant, the court heard.

Four police officers were monitoring the situation with two of the female officers, disguising themselves as waitresses.

On arrival, the complainant took Blumears to her office, and the female officers followed on the pretext they wanted to serve them coffee.

It is the State’s case that Blumears was given $500 trap money in the presence of the “waitresses” who subsequently arrested him.

Blumears then implicated Chikepe, who was arrested in Chisipite where they had planned to meet and share the loot, the State alleged.

Meanwhile, two immigration officers court on camera taking bribes have appeared in court, reports Thupeyo Muleya from Beitbridge.

Two immigration officers who were last week arrested after they were caught on closed-circuit television cameras taking bribes from travellers, appeared in court on Saturday morning charged with criminal abuse of office.

Precious Ndomupei Dumbu and Tinashe Gotosa were picked up by police detectives soon after collecting the money.

It is alleged that they were paid to tamper with stamps for two travellers that had overstayed in the country.

The CCTVs are part of security upgrades at the border post as Government seeks to reduce incidents of corruption and smuggling at the ports of entry.

So far, Government has secured $600 000, which has been used to buy border patrol vehicles, lie detectors, mineral and metal detectors, patrol motor bikes, secret cameras and repairing the border perimeter fence that had been vandalised by criminals.

The CCTVs were installed in the past two months at points unknown to border officials.

Dumbu and Gotosa, who are represented by Mr Reason Mutimba of Nyikadzino Legal Practitioners, appeared before magistrate Mr Godswill Mavenge charged with criminal abuse of office.

They were released on $100 bail each.

Allegations are that they were on duty last Thursday, when they were caught on camera by security personnel taking bribes of R300 from two travellers.

They were picked up by police detectives soon after collecting the money.

Since the introduction of CCTVs, four people, including the two immigration and two police officers (Constables Marvelous Nyikadzino and Kudakwashe Zvavanoda) have been arrested, and not six Zimra officials as indicated in our Monday headline.

It emerged that no Zimra official was among those arrested.

The inconvenience caused is sincerely regretted.

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