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National Hero’s Widow In Court For School Fees Fraud

24 July 2021

Rufaro Mapepete, the widow of the late national hero, Jacob Mapepete, recently appeared before a Harare magistrate following her arrest by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) for fraud. Mapepete (52), allegedly collected school fees from the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) for her son who had already been deregistered by the school for non-payment of fees. She appeared before magistrate Dennis Mangosi charged with fraud and was remanded in custody to Monday for bail ruling. The court was told that sometime in January this year, Mapepete allegedly generated a receipt with $35 000 and forwarded it to the ZNLWVA head office purporting that the invoice was for her son at Washington Hills High School. The war veterans welfare organisation credited $35 000 to Washington Hill High School for her child’s school fees. However, investigations revealed that in September 2019, the child was deregistered from Washington Hills High School for non-payment of school fees. The State alleges that Mapepete prepared an invoice to the ZNLWA for the school fees of the child and ordered the school to transfer the money into her personal FBC Bank account. The school accountant refused to transfer the money to Mapepete's account, saying he would refund the war veterans association since the child had been deregistered. After the accused insisted to be paid the money into her personal account, the accountant asked her to sign a requisition form and at the same time, he alerted ZACC, whose officers arrested Mapepete at the scene. This was not the first time Mapepete has attempted to defraud ZNLWVA on the pretext of asking for money for her children's fees. The State alleges that Mapepete in June 2019 she also generated a school receipt with US$11 500 and forwarded it to the ZNLWVA purporting to be for the Cambridge examinations registration for her two children.

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