Clerk steals from judge
21 December 2016
HIGH Court judge Justice Edith Mushore lost US$300 in medical aid refunds to her clerk who had been converting them into his own use over a period of 10 months.
Justice Mushore’s clerk, Perai Mashava, appeared at the Harare magistrates’ court charged with theft of trust property.
Mashava, who is employed by the Judicial Service Commission, denied the charges when he appeared before magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro.
He told the court that he handed over the money to Justice Mushore after collecting the monthly refunds from the Registrar of High Court.
Mashava told the court that he placed the cash in justice Mushore’s office drawer after collecting the monthly refunds.
Justice Mushore refuted the claims saying she was not aware that she was supposed to receive the refunds and only came to discover it after Mushore went on study leave.
“I worked with the accused for a year from November last year to end of November this year.
“He was supposed to collect $30 every month as a refund for my medical aid from the Registrar of the High Court
“End of November this year accused was away on study leave at the University of Zimbabwe when I was allocated another clerk, Constance Shiri.
“A clerk to one of my colleagues collected an envelope containing the refund money and gave me.
“The following day her boss Justice Phiri mentioned to me that there was a judicial clerk arrested for stealing medical aid refunds.
“He explained that we get the money every month. I asked the accused and he said had been placing the money in my drawer.
“At one time I did allow the accused to enter my drawer when I was on vacation so that he could access my fuel coupon.
“He stole two of my coupons,” said justice Mushore.
The State, led by Venancia Mtake, alleges that during the period extending from January to October this year, Mushore collected US$30 monthly from the Registrar of High Court.
Allegations are that the cash was for monthly medical aid refunds.
Mushore was expected to hand over the money to Justice Mushore but he allegedly failed to hand over the money and converted it to his own use.
The matter came to light when Mashava went on leave.