Zvikomborero Parafini, Court Reporter
TWO Ministry of Health and Child Care employees were on Wednesday dragged to court charged with criminal abuse of duty after they duped the ministry of RTGS$95 592 in diverted funds and stolen fuel.
The duo of Dr Sekesai Zinyowera, 51, and Crossman Mayavo, 44, appeared before Harare senior regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya.
Zinyowera is employed by the Ministry of Health and Child Care as a coordinator and is stationed at the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory.
Her duties involved planning, organizing, directing, managing, coordinating and overseeing the activities and operation of NRML.
Mayavo is employed by the Health Ministry as an Administration Officer and is stationed at NMRL.
His duties involve the procurement of goods and services, the management of transport and fuel coupons and the provision of secretarial services at NRML.
The complainant is the State represented by Douglas Mangwanya who is the Director of all Ministry of Health and Child Care Laboratories in Zimbabwe.
Allegations are that in 2014, the duo hatched a plan to siphon Government funds from NRML.
On July 14 that year, a management meeting was held at NRML boardroom with Zinyowera chairing the meeting while Mayavo took the minutes and during the meeting Zinyowera suggested that 60 percent of all received user fees were to be apportioned to the NMRL while 40 percent was to be shared amongst the staff members.
It is further alleged that the duo knew that there was no Government policy that supported such apportionment of government funds without approval from the Ministry of Finance.
The minutes of the meeting were deliberately never communicated to the Ministry’s permanent secretary who is the Accounting officer, the court heard.
In pursuant of their plan, Mayavo wrote to CBZ Southerton Branch on October 18 2018, requesting for the opening of an FCA account. Which was opened in contravention of the Public Finance Management Act which states that no account shall be opened with any institution for the deposit of public money without the authority of the Accounting General.
Resultantly, from January 1 2018 to June 30 2019, the duo siphoned US$61 143 and RTGS$7 638 from the two bank accounts and the money was withdrawn by the two who are the signatories and paid to the NMRL staff members who participated in projects purportedly as overtime allowances.
In the second count, the State alleges that from March to May 2019, the duo connived to show favour to Tanaka Sakubani a Chief Medical Laboratory Scientist by allocating him 40 liters of fuel to use in his personal vehicle fully aware that the provisions of the Health ministry forbade the issuance of fuel to private vehicles without authority from the ministry’s accounting officer.
As a result, the ministry lost RTGS$7 622 worth of fuel.
In the third count, the duo showed favour to Collis Moyo on July 02 2018, by paying her tuition fees fully aware that the permanent secretary had suspended the payment of tuition fees for staff members.
As a result, the ministry suffered an actual prejudice of RTGS950.
In the fourth count, the duo is accused of showing favour to Mazarura and Mutambara by allocating fuel weekly to them fully aware that they were not entitled to it as they were junior officers.
Mazarura received a total of 1600 liters of petrol and 1480 liters of diesel while Mutambara recievd 160 liters of petrol and 960 liters of diesel.
As a result, the NMRL lost RTGS479 382.
The duo was released on $2000 and $1000 bail each respectively and were ordered to report to Dzivaresekwa Police Station every Friday, not to interfere with State witnesses and to surrender their travel documents to the Clerk of Court Harare.
Tinashe Makiya appeared for the State.