Maputo — Alexandre Njovo, the former presiding judge of the Maxixe City Court, in the southern Mozambican province of Inhambane, has been expelled from the judiciary for theft, reports Friday's online edition of the independent daily "O Pais".
Njovo was presiding judge in Maxixe for almost two years, from early 2017 to late 2018. An audit of the court's accounts for that period showed that Njovo and a court registrar, Francisco Cumbane, stole more than 2.7 million meticais (about 43,500 US dollars).
According to a dispatch from the Higher Council of the Judicial Magistrature (CSMJ), the regulatory body for judges, cited by "O Pais", thefts from the court's accounts began almost as soon as Njovo took office, but became much more serious as from February 2018.
Njovo, accused the CSMJ, signed cheques drawn on the court's accounts in favour of Cumbane, and the two then shared the money between them.
On 15 February, Njovo and Cumbane helped themselves to 303,000 meticais. On 3 April, Njovo signed a cheque for 354,000 meticais. A further 100,000 meticais was taken on 16 May.
A further four thefts occurred in June, totalling 593,000 meticais.
To try and hide the thefts, Njovo and Cumbane tore up the stubs of the court's cheque books. Njovo also asked his brother, the manager of a building company, to provide fake receipts that would justify the disappearance of the money.
Disciplinary proceedings against Njovo began on 10 April this year, and on 9 October the CSMJ decided to expel him from the ranks of the judiciary. It also sent the relevant documents to the Public Prosecutor's Office to initiate criminal proceedings against Njovo and Cumbane.