Harare provincial magistrate Ms Barbra Chimbodza on Monday convicted three men of defrauding Harare Central Hospital of more than $68 000 in a botched pharmaceuticals supply deal.
Stansfield Dhokwani, Nicholas Mjanja, Albert Chisema, Collen Malambo Makuyana and Gift Ziyambe, a chief accounting officer at the hospital, were facing fraud charges.
Dhokwani and Mjanja were found not guilty and acquitted on 13 counts of fraud, but were convicted of receiving stolen property.
But Chisema, Ziyambe and Makuyana were convicted of the 13 counts of fraud and another 13 counts of receiving stolen property.
In passing judgment, Ms Chimbodza noted that fraud cases involved a degree of planning and the State witnesses explained the role played by the convicts.
She said the convicts were not credible witnesses as they changed their defence outlines in an effort to confuse the court.
The matter was rolled over to today for sentencing. Prosecutor George Manokore told the court that in 2008, the Health Ministry awarded a tender to Laryscope Health Care (Pvt) Ltd to supply pharmaceutical products to Harare Central Hospital.
On December 21, 2010, the hospital requested pharmaceutical products worth $8 400 from the company.
The goods were supplied and the pharmaceutical shop submitted requisition copies, goods received and its tax invoice.
On February 15, 2011, the hospital acknowledged receipt of the products.
The convicts connived to forge a tax invoice.
They also forged a letter purporting that Laryscope instructed the hospital to transfer all payments to Floralsplah Investment’s bank account.
Acting on the misrepresentation, the hospital transferred $8 400 to Floralsplah and Dhokwani, who is a signatory to Floralsplah’s bank account, withdrew the money.
On June 28, 2011, the hospital requested pharmaceutical products worth $2 250, and using the same strategy, the accused forged documents bearing Ballstring Investments (Pvt) Ltd’s letterheads and recommended the hospital to transfer money into the company’s bank account.
Mjanja, a signatory of Ballstring’s bank account, withdrew the money in connivance with the quartet.
The court heard that the hospital made several requests for pharmaceutical supplies between December 2010 and December 2014 amounting to $68 783.
All the money was transferred into Floralsplah and Ballstring bank accounts and nothing was recovered.