By Staff Reporter
CHIPINGE: A Checheche-based teacher who swindled locals here out of their hard-earned cash promising to secure their relatives some nursing student places at Mashoko School of Nursing in Masvingo, was caged for 12 months by a local magistrate court.
Alex Mahanga, 52, appeared before Magistrate Joshua Nembawarare facing fraud charges.
He pleaded guilty to charges of swindling over $9 044 out of unsuspecting job seekers.
Asked by the magistrate why he committed the offence, Mahanga said he wanted the money to pay fees for his niece who had secured a place at a local tertiary institution.
However, Nembawarare suspended six months of the jail sentence on condition that he pays a $2 000 fine and another six months were suspended on condition he restitutes $ 9 044 to the complainants.
In passing sentence, the magistrate took into consideration that a custodial sentence would result in Mahanga losing his job and failure to raise the money required to restitute the complainants.
Prosecutors told the court that Mahanga connived with his two colleagues, Joshua Mbindi and Patricia Magazine, who are still at large, to fraud the job seekers who were identified as Caiphas Mtetwa, Daniel and David Mlambo, Bonwell Mahanya, Joice Munaiwa, and Mabhoko Osbert.
It is reported that Mahanga approached the victims on different dates and told them his accomplices were responsible for recruiting student nurses at Mashoko Mission School of Nursing.
He would then request the job seekers to give him application letters with all the necessary documents in order to process the required paperwork.
Mahanga on another date also in Chipinge met the complainants and told them that their relatives’ applications had been accepted and they were supposed to pay tuition, administration and accommodation fees to an Ecocash number which he supplied to them.
On different occasions, the job seekers would deposit money into Mahanga’s Ecocash number.
The total value prejudiced was $9 044 and nothing was recovered.