Home » Judicial » Energy, Power Ministry Accountant in the Dock

An accountant with the Ministry of Energy and Power Development yesterday appeared in court accused of forging travelling and subsistence allowances.

Silas Gwakwakwa (31) appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Takunda Mutetwa facing fraud charges.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was remanded out on bail to Friday.

The complainant in the matter is the Energy and Power Development Ministry represented by its internal auditor, Mr Raymond Chikota.

Prosecutor Mrs Stylon Marufu alleged that sometime in 2009 Gwakwakwa performed duties outside Harare and was entitled to travelling and subsistence allowances.

His travel and subsistence allowances covered breakfast, lunch, dinner and accommodation.

The ministry’s maximum approved bed and breakfast at hotel rate per day was $20.

Unapproved meals were breakfast $3, lunch $5 and dinner 5, the court heard.

On July 20, 2009 Gwakwakwa submitted travelling and subsistence allowances purporting that he booked at Regency Hotel Chevron in Masvingo.

He claimed $500 for accommodation for five people on July 6 and 7 under a fake invoice.

Investigations by the ministry’s audit team revealed that a duplicate copy of the same invoice at the hotel had a face value of $4.

On July 28, 2010 Gwakwakwa submitted another travel and subsistence form claiming that he booked at Christmas Pass Hotel in Mutare on 16 and 17 June 2010.

He claimed that he paid $190 for accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Investigation revealed that Gwakwakwa never booked at the hotel, instead he booked at Express Holiday Inn in Beitbridge.

It is alleged that on December 28 2010 Gwakwakwa submitted another travel and subsistence form purporting that he booked at Caribbea Bay Hotel in Kariba on December 13 and 14 of the same year.

He claimed $260 but investigations revealed that he never booked at the hotel.

On the same day, Gwakwakwa submitted another fake claim that he had put up at Rainbow Hotel in Bulawayo on December 15.

He also submitted that he had booked at Kingdom Hotel, Victoria Falls on December 16 and 17 2010 for $310.

The total prejudice was $803.

Source : The Herald