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Mberengwa RDC clerk cleared of theft

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Mberengwa RDC clerk cleared of theft

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SIBONGUTHANDO DUBE

MIRROR REPORTER 

MBERENGWAñMberengwa Magistrate Caroline Tafira-Nyoni, last week, acquitted a senior clerk at Mberengwa Rural District Council (RDC) of theft and abusing council funds. Kurai Shoko (41); was accused of stealing ZAR395 and converting US$1 653 for personal use.

Shoko, who stays in Mataga, was discharged last week; after a full trial. He first appeared in court in May. An internal audit done by Jairos Masiye from June 19, 2020, to October 2021 led to Shoko’s arrest. 

Nyoni, in her ruling, noted that Masiye’s audit had errors; not supported by documents, and the figures were inconsistent and did not tally. More so, the case’s investigating officer did not carry out an independent audit.

Another clerk at Mberengwa RDC, Poment Dube, also admitted in court that there are many loopholes. He added that the local authority allows employees to collect money without signing for its release. 

It was the State case that, sometime in September 2021, the complainant Nyembesi Shoko the council Chairperson, received complaints of abuse of council funds from stakeholders. She ordered the Internal Auditor, Masiye, to carry out an audit.

Masiye carried out a cash count with the accused, and there was a total of ZAR159 990 on October 18, 2021. The auditor counted the cash himself, and established a shortfall of ZAR9395 which the accused omitted to account.

In June 2022, Assistant Executive Officer Melody Hove did a procedural year-end cash count with Shoko. All the cash was withdrawn from the safe and put on the table for counting.

They counted and established that there was US$28 900, the Zimdollar was ZW$44 465, and the Rand was ZAR156 092, and they signed and returned the cash to the safe. A shortfall of United States dollars was later discovered, and it was suspected that Shoko was converting US$ to ZWL$ and returning the ZWL$ into the safe.

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