Home » Education » Teachers Union Directors Up for Embezzling Union Funds

FOUR executive members of the Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (TUZ) have been charged for allegedly embezzling $16 000 in union affiliation fees by 2000 teachers. Michael Kosana (44), Manuel Ngawo (43) and two others still at large are said to have connived to deduct from each teacher’s salary, $8 which they effected through the Salary Service Bureau (SSB).

They appeared in court week-end facing charges of theft of trust property. Nyawo is the chief executive officer of the little known teachers trade union group while Kosana is its administration secretary. Their co-accused are Catherine Chiweshe and Simon Tavengwa.

The court heard that sometime in June last year, the accused facilitated unsanctioned deductions of $8 each from the salaries of the 2000 union members. Because of their ill intentions, the accused avoided first seeking authority with the ministry of education before instructing SSB to process the deductions.

Presiding magistrate, Tendai Mahwe further heard that the accused took a full list of Zimbabwean teachers from the education ministry’s Harare head offices and compiled the names of teachers on TUZ membership roll without the members’ knowledge.

Kosana and Nyawo later submitted the list to government’s paymaster, leading to the illegal deductions. The scam came to light when some of the affected teachers complained about the deductions, resulting in criminal charges laid against the group.

It was not immediately clear however if SSB employees who processed the deductions were part of the scam. Nyawo and Kosana were later arrested while their accomplices still remain at large. Prosecutor Farai Gatsi did not contest the granting of bail for the duo who were released on $200 bail each, and are due back in court on May 9, 2014.

It is however not the first time Nyawo and Kosana have been charged with an almost similar offence. The two already face theft charges on TUZ housing co-operative funds amounting to over $560 000.

Source : New Zimbabwe