Telecel officials arrested for fraud

Police in Zimbabwe have arrested three people, among them two Telecel officials for defrauding the mobile cellular company of a whopping R5.5 million (US$750 000).

The trio, who appeared on Monday before Harare magistrate, Don Ndirowei, are- one of Telecel’s shareholders and board member Jane Mutasa, Telecel regional manager Charles Mapurisa and Caroline Gwinyai.

The three were remanded in custody until March 19.

Of the three, Gwinyai is believed to be Mutasa’s personal assistant at another company called Oxygon Investments, which is also owned by the Telecel board member.

The court denied the trio bail based on the suspicion that they would abscond from trial when set free.

State prosecutor Tawanda Zvekare claimed that on July 15, 2009 former Telecel managing director, Rex Chibesa, ordered all workers to stop selling lines and airtime using manual invoices.
It is further alleged that the trio disregarded this instruction from the managing director.

Between August 26 and October 21 2009, Mutasa is alleged to have instructed Omar to request stock from Telecel stores on behalf of her personal firm Oxygon Investments.
It is also alleged that Omar then instructed his junior, Mapurisa, to write the manual invoice for 30 000 seed packs (lines) valued at US$300 000 and airtime cards worth US$450 000.

The trial continues next week on March 19.

by Mercy Mujuru