College enrolment scam sucks in duo

gavelGeorge Maponga in Masvingo
A LECTURER and a student at Morgenster Teachers’ College have appeared in court charged with defrauding 45 prospective students of nearly $17 000 after promising to enrol them for a teachers’ training programme at the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe institution.

Tiyasi Tanikwa (48), a lecturer at the college and Sophie Moyo (29), a student, allegedly masqueraded as administration officers and received $350 from each of the 45 prospective students.

The pair received the money via a mobile money transfer system, EcoCash. They lied that the money would go towards the students’ tuition fees. The two appeared before Masvingo provincial magistrate Mr Langton Ndokera on Tuesday charged with fraud.

Mr Ndokera remanded Tanikwa, who was represented by Mr Phillip Shumba of Mutendi and Shumba, out of custody on $100 bail. Moyo was remanded in custody.

The prosecution said she was a flight risk.

Allegations are that between June 6 and September 10 this year, Moyo and Tanikwa hatched a plan to defraud prospective student teachers seeking to enrol at Morgenster Teachers’ College.

Moyo allegedly approached 45 prospective students and promised to offer them places at the college upon each one of them paying $350 via EcoCash.

The pair also told the prospective students to deposit a further $290 each into the college’s CBZ account to cover part of their tuition. Moyo reportedly misrepresented to the prospective students that Tanikwa was responsible for recruiting students at Morgenster Teachers’ College.

She is also reported to have issued fake enrolment letters and receipts to the prospective students after receiving $350 from each of her victims.

The matter came to light last Friday when the victims went to Morgenster Teachers’ College to begin their studies. They were told their offer letters and receipts were fake. The students reported Moyo and Tanikwa to the police, leading to the pair’s arrest.

Ms Shamiso Masokovere prosecuted.