19 June 2017

Zimbabwe: Catholic Treasurer Embezzles $6 000

A treasurer at St Alois Roman Catholic Church in Chitungwiza appeared in court last Friday charged with stealing $6 000. Kurauone Chokuona (40) appeared before Chitungwiza magistrate Mr Oliver Mudzongachiso facing charges of theft of trust property. He was represented by Ms Sandra Mbetu and Roswitter Madembo and was remanded to June 21 for trial.

He was granted $100 bail and ordered not to visit St Alois Roman Catholic Church as part of his bail conditions.

The complainant is the church represented by Kizito Kachasu.

The prosecutor Mr Edmond Ndambakuwa alleged that on March 4 this year, Father Xavier Murambiwa transferred $1 584 from St Alois Roman Catholic bank account into Tianze Company's DSTV account.

The court heard that Chokuona is employed by DSTV, but also doubled up as the church's treasurer.

He would withdraw cash from his work place supposedly to deposit in the church's safe.

Chokuona promised Father Murambiwa that he would bring him $1 584 cash and deposit the money into the church's safe.

The court heard that by the end of March 2017, Chokuona had been given a total of $1 753 by St Alois Roman Catholic Church that he was supposed to withdraw in cash and put in the church's safe.

The church collected $533,70 from its congregants at the end of April and the money was allegedly handed over to Chokuona for safekeeping.

It is alleged that at the end of May, the church's treasury committee calculated that they had given Chokuona $2 273, 96 for safekeeping.

The court heard that on June 3, Chokuona communicated with Annie Chihumbiri through WhatsApp, intimating that he took the church's money and was keeping it elsewhere.

It is alleged that on June 7, Chokuona was ordered to open the church safe and there was only $159,85.

The church lost $6 179, 81 and nothing was recovered.

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