Li­brar­ian ad­mits to steal­ing $13 000 from coun­cil

The Manica Post - - Local News - Abel Zhakata Se­nior Reporter

A LI­BRAR­IAN with Mutare City Coun­cil has ad­mit­ted to steal­ing more than $13 000 from his em­ployer which he pock­eted as travel and sub­sis­tence al­lowances af­ter com­ing up with fic­ti­tious in­ter­na­tional book fair func­tions.

Armed with fake in­vi­ta­tion let­ters from or­gan­i­sa­tions like the Zim­babwe In­ter­na­tional Book Fair and the In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of Li­brary As­so­ci­a­tion and In­sti­tu­tions (IFLAI), Dar­ling­ton Mandowo, was paid by coun­cil to at­tend the bo­gus work­shops.

Mandowo, who is on sus­pen­sion over the case, re­cently wrote to the lo­cal au­thor­ity ask­ing for le­niency.

In an af­fi­davit dated De­cem­ber 4, 2017, which he ten­dered to the lo­cal au­thor­ity, Mandowo of No. 7365 Fair­bridge Park, Mutare ,asked coun­cil to deduct $13 077,40 that he mis­used from his ter­mi­nal ben­e­fits.

Reads that af­fi­davit: “I have used $13 077, 40 on (sic) per­sonal use in­stead of coun­cil busi­ness. I, there­fore, (plead with) coun­cil to deduct $13 077, 40 from my ter­mi­nal ben­e­fits. I am kindly re­quest­ing to pro­ceed on my res­ig­na­tion as per my pre­vi­ous re­quest.”

Cham­ber sec­re­tary Mr Cephas Vuta ac­knowl­edged re­ceiv­ing the af­fi­davit. He, how­ever, re­fused to com­ment on the case say­ing hu­man re­sources is­sues were con­fi­den­tial.

The li­brar­ian scan­dal was ex­posed re­cently af­ter Town Clerk Mr Joshua Maligwa tasked the lo­cal au­thor­ity’s au­dit de­part­ment to do some checks at Turner Me­mo­rial Li­brary.

Apart from the trav­el­ling al­lowances, Mandowo is also al­leged to have pock­eted thou­sands of dol­lars which was paid by the Char­tered In­sti­tute of Sec­re­taries (CIS) to the lo­cal au­thor­ity for the use of the li­brary as an ex­am­i­na­tion cen­tre.

De­spite CIS us­ing the li­brary for its ex­am­i­na­tion, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity got noth­ing.

Some of the pay­ments were al­legedly paid di­rect into Mandowo’s per­sonal ac­count with the CBZ in the form of Real Time Gross Pay­ment Set­tle­ment trans­fers.

Last year, Mandowo duped the lo­cal au­thor­ity of $4 199, 40 in trav­el­ling al­lowances af­ter he pro­duced fake ZIBF in­vi­ta­tion let­ters for three work­shops which were never held.

He also re­ceived $2 626, 80 for two trips that were pur­port­edly be­ing hosted by IAFAI but which turned out to be fic­ti­tious.

Coun­cil’s au­dit team got sus­pi­cious dur­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions and con­tacted the two or­gan­i­sa­tions to as­cer­tain whether such events were held last year.

The au­di­tors were shocked when they got cor­re­spon­dence to the ef­fect that no such work­shops were held.

“The two bod­ies told coun­cil that the in­vi­ta­tion let­ters were coun­ter­feits and that they did not orig­i­nate from their of­fices,” said Mr Maligwa.

On the CIS pay­ments, Mandowo is al­leged to have pock­eted $1 300 which he ei­ther re­ceived as cash or in the form of RTGS trans­ac­tions into his per­sonal bank ac­count each time the ex­am­i­na­tion body used Turner Me­mo­rial Li­brary as its ex­am­i­na­tion cen­tre.

He is also fail­ing to ac­count for 565 litres of fuel he re­ceived for gen­er­a­tor use.

The au­dit team noted that de­spite the fact that power cuts were now min­i­mal, Mandowo re­quested large quan­ti­ties of fuel which he is now fail­ing to ac­count for.

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