Health Ministry Director In Court Over US$1 000 Bribe

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By Paul Katanda

A MINISTRY of Health and Child Care director appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court Friday facing fraud charges he allegedly took a US$1 000 bribe to facilitate the expeditious processing of a Nurses’ Verification Certificate for a nurse seeking employment outside the country.

Robert Mudyiradima, who allegedly committed the crime at the time he was acting permanent secretary in the ministry, is also facing abuse of office charges.

Mudyiradima was arrested on February 1 after police set up a trap at the ministry’s offices at Kaguvi Building where one of his accomplices received the bribe.

The certificate in question is a prerequisite for nurses seeking employment out of the country.

Government has since suspended the issuance of the document in a bid to block nurses from leaving its employ.

The court heard that in November 2021, Ruramai Chatira, a nurse at Wheelerdale Clinic in Seke received information that Winnie Kanyedze could facilitate the acquisition of a verification certificate from the ministry.

After discussions with Kanyedze, Chatira was charged US$1 000 for the process to be done.

Kanyedze then engaged executive assistant to the ministry’s permanent secretary, Abigail Tsitsi Maregere, who convinced Mudyiradima to recommend release of Chatira’s certificate.

Chatira, with police detectives in tow, then set up a trap which caught Kanyedze receiving the money.

In Kanyedze’s possession was Chatira’s certificate and another one belonging to one Mellody Dhaure signed and issued by Mudyiradima.

Mudyiradima was granted bail of ZW$50 000 and is set to appear in court on March 3.