The Bikita Communal Court was on Friday implicated in a pension fund scam after awarding a marriage certificate to a Bikita woman claiming to have been married to a deceased soldier.
Anna Chiweshe (48) allegedly took the marriage certificate to the Zimbabwe National Army where the deceased worked as proof that she had two children with him.
The court heard that Chiweshe is, in actual fact, married to the deceased Parwaringira Shatei’s brother, Micah Mbarwi (54).
Chiweshe and Mbarwi appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Lazini Ncube facing fraud charges.
Testifying in court, ZNA pension officer Major Crispen Moyo said initial paperwork for Shatei in 1994 indicated that he was not married.
“There was a request the following year, saying the deceased had a wife,” he said.
“We requested a marriage certificate, annexure from a magistrates’ court confirming the marriage or proof from the army social services.
“Chiweshe brought a marriage certificate from Bikita Communal Court and birth certificates of two children. She became the beneficiary.”
The court heard that after the death of Shatei, Mbarwi kicked his brother’s widow Winfrida Chisiri and their daughter Cynthia Shatei out of their home.
Prosecuting, Ms Nancy Chandakaona alleged that sometime in 1983, Mbarwi’s late brother Shatei, who was a member of the ZNA, got married to Chisiri.
The court heard that Shatei died in 1994 and soon after his burial, Mbarwi chased away Chisiri and her child and went on to obtain his late brother’s death certificate at Karoi District Registry.
In February 1995, Chiweshe and Mbarwi went to the Bikita Registrar’s Office where they misrepresented that Chiweshe had been married to Shatei and they had two children.
The couple claimed that the first child was born in April 1991 and the second one in August 1994.
Chiweshe used the two birth certificates and the letter of administration to support her claim for pension.
It is alleged the pensions office processed the pension and Chiweshe received $30 000 in the period between 1996 and March 2011 in widow’s pension and monthly pension for the two children.
The offence came to light in February this year when Cynthia made follow-ups with the pensions office and discovered that the money had already been signed for.
16 January, 2017