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Developer swindles govt of over $2,5m

FOUR company officials from Savanna Land Developers appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court at the weekend on charges of swindling government of over $2,5 million.

The quartet, who comprised Garikai Chikono (35), Tipei Chipato (36), Eliot Mukuze (37) and Solomon Kamhote (30) were not asked to plead, but were remanded in custody to today when they appeared before Harare magistrate Ngoni Nduna for bail application.

Government is being represented by Samuel Chitambara, the Salary Service Bureau (SSB) paymaster.

Prosecutor George Manokore said Savanna Land Developers offered residential stands for sale to civil servants whose monthly deductions were effected through SSB.

Savanna is represented by Chikono, who was arrested in his personal capacity after withdrawn cash from his firm's account the SSB had erroneously deposited some money into.

"During the rerun processing of the payroll, an amount of $2 597 544,58 which was supposed to be transferred to FBC Micro Plan Finance (Pvt) Ltd bank account was erroneously transferred to accused (Savanna Land Developers') FBC bank account number 6115346460193 which was supposed to receive $3 980 only on June 15, 2020," part of the State papers read.

"After receiving the funds, the accused (Chikono), acting in common purpose with his co-director, Tipei Chipato who are all signatories to their FBC bank account, intentionally made 25 debit transactions of varying amounts to various bank accounts beneficiaries mainly through internet banking from their account thereby leaving a balance of$856 207,12 in their account."

The anomaly was discovered, leading to the arrest of the four officials.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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