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Zinara pair in $6,8m fraud storm

by Staff reporter
26 Feb 2022 at 18:17hrs | Views
Two Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) senior employees have been arrested at the Shurugwi Tollgate by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), on allegations of facing about 234 counts of fraud involving $6,8million.

The two, who were arrested yesterday, are supervisors Lilian Svinurai and Peter Pikita.

They were yesterday still assisting police with investigations and will appear in court soon.

Although the details were still sketchy by yesterday, sources close to the investigations said the two were in the habit of using Zinara swiping cards and pocketing State money.

They were arrested following a tip off and the net will soon close in on other suspects implicated in the scam as investigations continue.

In a statement, Zacc yesterday said: "Two more Shurugwi Tollgate employees arrested for fraud. Supervisors Lilian Svinurai and Peter Pikita are facing allegations of 234 counts of fraud involving $6,8m.

"Seven other employees at the tollgate were arrested in 2021. ZACC remains unrelenting in fighting corruption in Zimbabwe."

Last year, speaking during the International Anti-Corruption Day commemorations in Harare, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission Chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo revealed that Zinara, Vehicle Inspection Department (VID), and police had normalised corruption in government.

She said at the Shurugwi tollgate, they had to arrest all workers stationed there as they were using Zinara swiping cards and pocketing State money.

She revealed that by then an employee would take home not less than $70 000 or at least more than US$200 a day.

In March 2014, police also arrested four Zinara tolling officers who were accused of defrauding the road authority in a tollgate voucher scam.

The four — Stewart Sihlangu (25) from Waterfalls, Annie Wadzanai Muridzi (30), Shoriwa Mangoma (45) from Glen Norah B and Peter Maphosa (38) of Zengeza 2 — were said to have been issuing expired vouchers at the Skyline tollgate located just after Boka Tobacco Sales in Harare.

Investigations by then had showed that Zinara was prejudiced of over US$105.

The four were nabbed after police set up a trap after receiving a complaint from an Irvine's Zimbabwe transport manager who queried the difference in the toll vouchers his drivers were getting from the Skyline tollgate.

The Irvine's Zimbabwe official had noted that his drivers were bringing vouchers that belonged to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority which ceased manning tollgates in October 2013.

Acting on the tip-off, police sent a team of plain clothes officers on several occasions and they, too, were issued with the expired vouchers.

There were also instances when the quartet was said to have failed to issue the toll vouchers despite having received payment from the undercover police details.

A report was then made at Waterfalls Police Station, leading to the arrest of the suspects on the same day.

Source - The Herald