Hartzell High head in court for corruption

Martin Muleya

Mutare – United Methodist Church-run Hartzell High School head, Shorwi Kawadza (64) has appeared in court facing corruption charges involving ZWL $4, 063, 584.18.
Kawadza appeared at Mutare Magistrates Court today on allegations that he allowed his private company Mutrue Investments (Pvt) Ltd, to supply goods to the school without following tender procedures or revealing his interest in the company to his employer; the Zimbabwe Eastern Conference of the United Methodist Church.

The matter is before Magistrate Perseverance Makala who granted him ZWL $50 000 bail and remanded him out of custody to November 30, 2022 for trial. Tirivanhu Mutyasira is prosecuting and Kawadza who is being represented by Victor Chinzamba of Mugadza and Chinzamba Associates was nabbed by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC).
The alleged offence was committed between 2020 and 2021.

The charge laid before Kawadza according to State papers is that he corruptly concealed from a Principal, a personal interest in a transaction as defined in Section 173 (a) (I) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act.
Being the accounting officer at the school, Kawadza had the duty to oversee the administration of the school including authorisation of transactions involving goods and services.

Mutyasira told the court that Kawadza was the head and at the same time one of the directors of Mutrue Investments. He deliberately skipped procurement procedures by allowing his company the express right to supply firewood, tomatoes and other products to Hartzell High School.
“Hartzell High is administered by the Zimbabwe Eastern Conference of the United Methodist Church. The procuring of goods and services is therefore governed by the United Methodist Church’s Finance Procedures Manual and Operations Policies and Procedure Manual.

The UMC’s Finance Procedure Manual Section 3:0 invites suppliers through an advert placed in national papers to do business with the Eastern Conference.
The invitation would cover all the suppliers, goods and services required by the Church. Suppliers would be turned down if they fail to provide necessary documents for their companies and successful suppliers would be considered for the supply of goods and services through the use of comparative schedule,” said Mutyasira.

The accused who was a signatory of the School’s ZB account also doubled as the signatory for the company’s ZB account which would be paid by the school.
The State alleges that Mutrue Investments (Pvt) Ltd was never selected by the procurement committee to supply firewood, tomatoes and other products. The accused circumvented the procurement process which is chaired by the deputy head and delivered the commodities straight into the boarding section while he cornered the deputy head to approve the purchases.

“By engaging Mutrue Investments without seeking authority and without following procedure, the accused deliberately and corruptly concealed a personal interest in a transaction from his principal for purposes of deriving benefits for himself from the transaction. Payments worth ZWL $4, 063, 584.18 were made to his company,” added Mutyasira.

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